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March 2, 2024

Delhi Court Orders Bloomberg to Remove Defamatory Article on Zee Entertainment

In a significant legal development, a city court in Delhi has directed Bloomberg Television Production Services India Pvt. Ltd. (Bloomberg) to remove a contentious news article targeting media giant ZEE Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) from its online platform.

The court, presided over by Additional District Judge H S Bhalla, issued a directive instructing Bloomberg “to take down the article dated Feb 21, 2024, from the online platform within one week of receipt of this order.” Additionally, Bloomberg has been restrained “from posting, circulating, or publishing the aforesaid article in respect of the plaintiff on any online or offline platform till the next date of hearing.”

The legal action was initiated by ZEEL against Bloomberg, alleging that the article published by Bloomberg had inflicted damage to its reputation. The contentious Bloomberg article, titled “India Regulator Uncovers $241 Million Accounting Issue at Zee,” was deemed “defamatory” by ZEEL, which asserted that it was published with a malicious intent to tarnish the company’s image.

ZEEL contended in its statement to the court that the article contained false and factually incorrect information, intended to defame the company. The erroneous details pertaining to ZEE’s corporate governance and business operations, as presented in the article, led to a 15% decline in the company’s share price, resulting in substantial losses for investors. Notably, the article falsely claimed that the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) had uncovered a $241 million accounting issue at ZEE, a claim refuted by the company.

Despite ZEEL’s strong rebuttal, the article persisted in disseminating unfounded allegations of financial irregularities against the company, without any basis from regulatory authorities. In its four-page order, the Delhi Court acknowledged the prima facie case presented by ZEEL and granted ad interim ex-parte injunction orders in favor of the plaintiff. The court deemed it necessary to prevent irreparable loss and injury to ZEEL, given the potential damage caused by the defamatory article.

Consequently, Bloomberg has been directed to promptly remove the contentious article from its online platform, with strict instructions to adhere to the court’s orders within the stipulated timeframe.

This legal ruling underscores the importance of responsible journalism and the accountability of media organizations in ensuring the accuracy and integrity of their reporting, particularly when dealing with matters that can significantly impact the reputation and financial standing of corporations.

Rajan Shukla

Rajan Shukla

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