I hereby serve upon you the following Legal Notice for Defamation on behalf of my client TV18 Broadcast Limited:
BY SPEED POST / EMAIL
November 14, 2018
Mr. Yashwant Singh(Owner/Editor/Proprietor)
2. Mr. Yashwant Singh (Owner/Editor/Proprietor)
SUB: LEGAL NOTICE FOR DEFAMATION IN RESPECT OF THE ARTICLE TITLED “अंबानी के चैनल का हाल : आरोपी ऐश कर रहा, पीड़िता को टर्मिनेट कर दिया गया!” PUBLISHED ON THE WEBSITE WWW.BHADAS4MEDIA.COM ON 08.11.2018
I act for and on behalf of my client TV18 Broadcast Limited (“TV18”), a company incorporated under the Companies Act, 1956 and having its registered office at First Floor, Empire Complex, 414, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel, Mumbai 400 013, Maharashtra. Upon instructions; I serve upon you the following notice:
1. My Client TV18 is inter alia engaged in the business of media and entertainment. TV18 owns and operates news and current affairs television channels in English, Hindi and other regional languages.
2. You, Noticee No. 1 are an online news portal. You, Noticee No.2 represent yourself to be the owner/proprietor/editor of the Noticee No.1.
3. This notice is with regard to an article titled “अंबानी के चैनल का हाल : आरोपी ऐश कर रहा, पीड़िता को टर्मिनेट कर दिया गया!” published on the website of Noticee No.1 on 8th November 2018.
4. ‘The said article appears to have been published at the behest of a disgruntled former employee – Ms. Rumana Alvi. It insinuates that the Ms. Alvi’s services were terminated upon her complaining of sexual harassment. The said article is accessible on the website of you, Noticee No.1 at https://www.bhadas4media.com/rumana-alvi-ki-kahani/
5. Certain excerpts from the same are reproduced for convenience :
“टीवी पत्रकार रुमाना अल्वी की गल्ती बस ये है कि उन्होंने बॉस के आगे समर्पण नहीं किया. उन्होंने नौकरी करने के लिए बॉस की उत्पीड़नकारी शर्तें नहीं मानीं. उन्होंने यौन दुर्व्यवहार का विरोध किया. उन्होंने मीडिया की मंजिल तय करने के वास्ते देह का इस्तेमाल नहीं किया. बस. इसी से अंबानी के चैनल के कर्ताधर्ता नाराज हो गए. #metoo के इस दौर में जहां एमजे अकबर जैसों तक को घुटनों के बल बैठना पड़ा था, अंबानी के चैनल में आरोपी ऐश कर रहा है. पीड़िता को सीधे टर्मिनेट कर दिया गया. यह है अंबानियों की नैतिकता और यह है अंबानियों का कानून.”
These frivolous and disparaging claims have been made without an iota of evidence to substantiate the same. Further, no comment whatsoever was sought from my Client before the article was published.
6. It is worthwhile to mention here that Ms. Alvi was hired by Panorama Television Private Limited (“Panorama”) as an anchor in its head-office in Hyderabad on 17th August 2017. The said Panorama Television has since merged with my Client (w.e.f. 1st November 2018).
7. It is pertinent to note that Ms. Alvi’s performance was not satisfactory from the outset. A training plan was formulated for improving her performance. She was informed about the training plan on 17th February 2018. Ms. Alvi attended the said programme for a few days. Thereafter she proceeded on leave from 23rd February 2018 to 13th March 2018. After she resumed her duties, she was assigned bulletins. However her performance continued to be unsatisfactory. Accordingly, on 2nd May 2018, she was put off-air and asked to work in the desk.
8. Soon after she was put off air, Ms. Alvi, wrote a mail (dated 5th May 2018) to the Head, Human Resources, alleging that her reporting manager, Mr. Abhay Upadhyay, had been misbehaving with her. Her complaint was immediately forwarded to the Internal Committee.
9. The committee met with the complainant (Ms. Alvi), the respondent (Mr. Abhay Upadhyay) and other employees and conducted a detailed investigation. The Internal Committee submitted its report on 17th July 2018. As per the observations and findings of the Internal Committee, the allegations of sexual harassment made by the complainant (Ms. Alvi) against the respondent (Mr. Abhay Upadhyay) were not substantiated by any evidence.
10. On the basis of the of the Internal Committee report, the Company moved both Mr. Abhay Upadhyay and Ms. Alvi to different roles. Ms. Alvi’s supervisor was also changed, and she was required to report to a female supervisor. A separate training programme was formulated for Ms. Alvi to improve her performance. Panorama vide its email and letter dated 3rd September 2018, advised Ms. Alvi to attend the training programme till 31st October 2018 and report to the female supervisor who is a Sr. Anchor/Producer, during the said training period.
However, despite repeated reminders sent to Ms. Alvi (on 13th September 2018, 4th October 2018 and 26th October 2018) she failed to attend the training programme and report to the female supervisor during the said training period. Accordingly on 3rd November 2018, my Client terminated Ms. Alvi’s employment with immediate effect on disciplinary grounds.
11. It is worthwhile to mention here that Ms. Alvi has also filed an FIR against Mr. Abhay Upadhyay under section 354D and 506 of the Indian Penal Code. My Client has been cooperating with the investigation of the same. During the course of investigation a notice was issued to Panorama on 21st July 2018, by the police for submission of documents. Panorama vide its letter dated 2nd August 2018 submitted the required documents to the concerned investigating officer. My Client has taken appropriate action on Ms. Alvi’s complaint and also cooperated with the investigative agencies.
12. The aforesaid narration of events clearly goes to show that Ms. Alvi was not terminated due to her complaint of sexual harassment. Rather, her employment was terminated due to continuous unsatisfactory performance and indiscipline.
13. The same makes it clear that the contents of the article published by you are uncorroborated, grossly incorrect and have been published without the slightest research or reference to journalistic ethos. The recklessness in publishing the article shows a clear intention to degrade the reputation of my Client and subject it to ridicule and contempt.
14. Please note that the above-mentioned remarks made by you, the Noticee No.1 on a medium that has a worldwide reach are libellous. They have resulted in the lowering of the estimation of my Client’s reputation as an organization and as an employer in the minds of members of the society. Besides, these insinuations are also likely to cause substantial losses of revenue to my Client.
15. The contents of your above-mentioned article tantamount to both civil and criminal defamation, which are punishable under Sections 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code with imprisonment that may extend upto two years.
16. In light of the above, you, the Noticees are hereby called upon :
a) To take down the defamatory article accessible at – https://www.bhadas4media.com/rumana-alvi-ki-kahani/
b) To tender a public, written, unconditional and unqualified apology to my Client for having made such false and defamatory imputations.
In the event of your failure to comply with this notice within 5 days of its receipt; my Client shall be constrained to initiate appropriate legal proceedings, both civil and criminal, including seeking monetary damages.. Needless to mention, that any such proceeding, as and when initiated shall be entirely at your cost, risk and peril, without any further reference to you.
A copy of this notice is being retained in my office for future reference and appropriate action, if necessary.
भड़ास की तरफ से एडवोकेट उमेश शर्मा ने अंबानी के चैनल को जवाब भेज दिया है…
पूरे मामले को समझने के लिए इसे भी पढ़ें-