The Delhi High Court was moved by bollywood actress Rakul Preet Singh, seeking immediate interim orders to stop the media from running shows or publishing articles against her in relation with the drug investigation that emerged after the death of star Sushant Singh Rajput. In the coming week, the matter is expected to come up for a hearing. The petition filed by lawyers Himanshu Yadav, Aman Hingorani and Shweta Hingorani alleges that Rakul Preet was in Hyderabad for a film shoot and was surprised to see media reports that she was summoned to appear in Mumbai on September 24 by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in connexion with the ongoing investigation into the drug case of Rhea Chakraborty.
At any of her addresses in Hyderabad or Mumbai, the petitioner had not received such a summons from the NCB and thus remained in Hyderabad. The father of the petitioner decided to take the morning flight from Hyderabad to Mumbai on 24.9.2020 to ascertain the reality of such claims, "the plea said." Nevertheless, from the evening of 23.9.2020 itself, the media began running false news to the effect that the petitioner, who was in Hyderabad, had allegedly entered Mumbai for the NCB inquiry on the evening of 23.9.2020, "it further said."
It added that on September 24, around 11:20 a.m., Rakul Preet received a summons under Section 67 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, dated September 23, via WhatsApp, stating that at 10 a.m. on September 24, she had to appear in person before the NCB in Mumbai. It is from an email from the NCB dated 24 September that the actress heard that the case in which she was expected to testify had been registered, according to the plea.
Last week, Rakul Preet also approached the Delhi High Court seeking clarification to ask the media not to air, publish or circulate any material in the light of the narcotic drug case of actor Rhea Chakraborty that maligns or slanders the petitioner on television, cable, print or social media, as the case may be. She also asked the court not to allow the media to run any material containing anything against her that is defamatory, intentional, false and suggestive innuendos and half-truths, or to use sensational headlines, photos, video-footage or social media links that violate the privacy of the actress.
A single-judge bench of the High Court, chaired by Justice Navin Chawla, said while issuing a notice on the said first petition, "There must be some restraint. Even before the officers themselves, the media gets to know facts. Reputations are getting tarnished." The bench also said, "It is hoped that while making some report in relation with Rakul Preet Singh, media houses and TV channels will show restraint and abide by the programme code and other guidelines."