The Delhi High Court has denied interim relief to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Member of Parliament Gautam Gambhir in his defamation suit against a media house. Gambhir had sought directions from the court to withdraw alleged defamatory publications containing false and slanderous statements made against him.
While the court refused to pass an interim order at this stage, it acknowledged that the matter requires consideration. Justice Chandra Dhari Singh stated that summons must be issued to the defendants, including a Hindi daily, its editor-in-chief, and three reporters. The court also issued notice to them on the application for interim relief and scheduled further hearing in October.
Gambhir, a former cricketer turned politician, claimed that the defendants were publishing false and malicious reports targeting him. He sought an unconditional apology from the media house, which should be published in all newspapers circulated by them.
In response, the judge stated that public figures should develop thick skin and be less sensitive to criticism. However, Gambhir’s counsel argued that the articles published by the media house over the past year were deeply malicious and vindictive.
The court, after examining the articles presented by Gambhir, expressed its prima facie opinion that the reporter seemed to be targeting Gambhir, using inappropriate words and sentences. The BJP MP accused the media house and certain reporters of intentionally defaming him, damaging his reputation.
Gambhir’s legal counsel also highlighted that a legal notice was sent to the media house last year, demanding the cessation of defamatory publications, but received no response.
In addition to seeking a court order to withdraw the alleged defamatory publications, Gambhir has claimed Rs 2 crore in damages, which he intends to donate to charitable organizations.
While the court refused interim relief at this stage, the issuance of notice and summons to the defendants indicates that the court recognizes the need for further examination of the matter. The case will continue to be heard in October, where Gambhir’s claims and the media house’s defense will be thoroughly evaluated.