Bollywood: Court refuses Shilpa Shetty’s plea against media

The actress had accused several platforms of publishing defamatory content related to her and her husband Raj Kundra.

On Friday, the Bombay High Court refused Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty’s plea to restrain media from publishing information related to her and her husband Raj Kundra.

According to India Today, Shetty moved to the High Court on Thursday, accusing the media and social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube of publishing defamatory content about her on their platforms.

Justice Gautam Patel said what Shilpa Shetty is seeking in her plea would “have a chilling effect on the freedom of press”.

“Reportage of something based on what police have said is not defamatory,” he added.

Shetty had objected to certain media channels carrying news reports about her breaking down when Mumbai Police officials took Raj Kundra, who has been accused of producing and distributing porn films, to their residence for searches last week. Her lawyer, Biren Saraf, argued that the reports were “something that happened between a husband and wife, and should not have been reported.”

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“You (Shetty) chose a public life. Your life is under a microscope,” countered Justice Patel.

“Firstly, articles saying she cried and fought with her husband when her statement was recorded, is not defamatory. It shows that she is a human.”

The judge specified that “no part of this order (should) be construed as a gag on the media. I am making no order, but this is not refusal of interim or ad-interim relief.”

However, Justice Patel did clarify that none of the reportage could refer to the parenting of the couple’s children.

“That part is protected by her right of privacy under the wide protection recognised by the freedom of press to be balanced with right of privacy.”

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