Court refuses to gag media, tells Shilpa ‘you chose public life’

Chennai: The line between freedom of press and the right to privacy will have to be balanced, the Bombay High Court said, refusing to pass a blanket media gag order on a defamation petition by actress Shilpa Shetty, whose husband Raj Kundra is in judicial custody in a case related to alleged production and streaming of pornographic content on online apps.

Shilpa Shetty had moved the court accusing the media and social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube of publishing defamatory content about her on their platforms.

Hearing the matter, Justice Gautam Patel said what Shilpa Shetty is seeking in her plea will ‘have a chilling effect on the freedom of press’. He added, ‘Reportage of something based on what police have said is not defamatory.’

‘You (Shilpa Shetty) chose a public life. Your life is under a microscope. Firstly, articles saying she cried and fought with her husband when her statement was recorded, is not defamatory. It shows that she is a human,’ said Justice Gautam Patel.