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Bollywood sues 2 TV channels for painting the film industry as a den of crime




Major Bollywood producers have taken legal action against two TV news channels for describing the film industry as a hangout for drugs and crime after the death of a young movie star.

Suspect Singh Rajput was found dead in his Mumbai apartment in June in what police initially said was a suicide case. His death sparked frenzied media coverage with TV channels showing his body, analyzing his medical prescriptions and suggesting that “black magic” was being performed on the actor.

According to Reuters, the media also targeted his girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty, who was ultimately detained for drug use.

The lawsuit, filed in Delhi High Court, has more than 30 Bollywood production houses and four industry bodies as plaintiffs and refers to coverage of Rajput’s death.

“The privacy of Bollywood members is invaded and their reputation is irreparably damaged by portraying all of Bollywood as criminals, steeped in drug culture and making Bollywood a synonym for criminal acts in the public imagination,” the producers said in a statement.

They named Republic TV and its founder Arnab Goswami, as well as Times Now, in the lawsuit. Representatives for both channels did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A lawyer for the producers could not be reached.

Those who lodged the lawsuit include the Producers Guild of India, the Screenwriters Association as well as production companies owned by major Bollywood actors Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan and Aamir Khan.

It was not known when the case would be heard. “These defendants are conducting and publishing parallel private investigations and effectively acting as courts to convict people related to Bollywood as guilty on the basis of what they claim to be evidence found by them,” the producers’ statement said, saying reference to the two news channels.

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