The Delhi High Court on Monday issued notices to several media houses over irresponsible, derogatory and defamatory remarks” against the film industry and conducting media trials against its members on various issues, Bar and Bench reported.

The court also asked the TV channels to ensure that defamatory content is not displayed on their channels or on social media platforms.

The court issued notices on a plea filed by top Bollywood filmmakers and producers seeking to restrain them from making or publishing

Republic TV, Times Now, their editors Arnab Goswami, Rahul Shivsankar and Navika Kumar are among those who were served with the high court’s notice.

The court was hearing the petition filed by 34 Bollywood production houses seeking restrain on the content aired by the media houses.

Senior Advocate Rajiv Nayar, representing the plaintiffs, said many news programmes drew a parallel with the film industry and the drug mafia.

“It does not stop here,” he said. “Now they proceed as if we have links with Pakistan and ISI. Your Lordship will see how the reports start with reports on Sushant Singh and move on to links with drug peddlers and Pakistan,” he said.

Nayar argued that the news channels violated the privacy of several Bollywood actors by accessing their WhatsApp chats.

The Narcotics Control Bureau, one of the central agencies investigating the death of Sushant Singh Rajput case, had on September 23 issued summons to actors Deepika Padukone, Sara Ali Khan, Shraddha Kapoor and Rakul Preet Singh based on the leaked WhatsApp conversations purportedly discussing drugs.

Senior advocate Akhil Sibal, also representing the Bollywood filmmakers and producers, submitted that a section of media has abandoned journalistic principles.

He also spoke about the News Broadcasting Standards Authority warning news channels against conducting media trials.

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