New Delhi: On Tuesday, the Delhi High Court issued notices to the Central Government and others regarding an urgent application lodged by Bollywood actress Rakul Preet Singh, whose name appeared in a drug case linked to the death of Sushant Singh Rajput, seeking interim instructions to prohibit the media from publishing anything in the case relating to her.
Justice Navin Chawla's single-judge bench also ordered the Centre and others to file a status report asking them to indicate the measures taken on the portrayal of Bollywood actor Rakul Preet Singh and listed the matter for further hearing on October 15. The court asked the Centre during the course of the trial what it had done in the case. Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma, representing the Centre, told the court that in the case, “Rakul Preet is not yet arrayed as an accused and she is only being asked to enter the inquiry.” He further called the issue sensitive and said: “I empathise with the client of my friend, but the fact is such that it is important to take a balanced view.”
Presently, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) is investigating the case. The court told the Centre that under the Cable TV Act, the government has the authority and said the government cannot literally say that this is a sensitive case. In the meantime, Prasar Bharati urged the court to withdraw it from the party's memo as it has no role to play in the application of Bollywood actor Rakul Preet Singh. The court asked the lawyer of Rakul Preet Singh, Aman Hingorani, to make submissions about the position of Prasar Bharati. The News Broadcasters Association told the court that its members are not part of any of the networks. In their response, the court asked the NBA to submit these facts.
Advocate Aman Hingorani, appearing for Rakul Preet Singh, told the court that false news was being broadcast that violated his customer's integrity and privacy. He asked the court; before the investigation is complete, to issue an injunction on the broadcast. He also alleged that the actor's image was hurt by media coverage. Singh told the Delhi High Court in her petition that the media continued their defamation campaign not only by re-broadcasting and publishing the previous falsehoods, but by attributing claims to her during the inquiry that she never made to the NCB.
The petition was lodged by Aman Hingorani, Shweta Hingorani, and Himanshu Yadav, advocates. “Issue an ad-interim instruction to the respondents to ensure that the media (whether electronic, print or digital) do not broadcast any programme or post, print or circulate any article or letter to the petitioner on the allegations pending before the Narcotics Control Bureau, Mumbai, in the criminal investigation into Crime No. The petition was submitted by the MZU / NCB/15/2020 before the Narcotics Control Bureau completes the investigation and files an effective report / document before the competent court.”