Mumbai (The Hindu): Controversial Islamic preacher Dr. Zakir Naik has served a Rs. 500-crore defamation notice to Indian news channel Times Now on Thursday for making unverified and derogatory remarks against him in their weekly show The News Hour , which he claims tarnished his reputation in public.
The notice asks for an “unconditional apology” from the channel’s editor-in-chief, Arnab Goswami, bureau chief Megha Prasad and the CEO. It claimed the channel showed only parts of video clips and quotes from Dr. Naik’s speeches — based on which the alleged defamatory remarks were made — to antagonise religious communities and malign his “impeccable reputation in the society”.
It also accused the channel of staging a media trial and starting a hate campaign, influencing authorities to carry out a probe against Dr. Naik under the directions of the state government.
Demanding the channel disclose its sources, the notice asked for withdrawal of the alleged defamatory statements and payment of a sum of Rs. 500 crore in damages, or face criminal and civil proceedings. “The damage suffered by him is estimated at an amount not less than Rs. 500 crores,” the notice, drafted by Naik’s advocate Mubin Solkar, read.
Mr. Solkar said if the channel fails to comply with the notice, he plans to file a suit in the Bombay High Court. “We are compiling material against other news channels and electronic media platforms that have made derogatory statements against Dr. Naik. They will served notices soon,” he added.
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