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HC allows Times Now to furnish corporate guarantee

Bombay High Court on Monday allowed the Times Now news channel to furnish a corporate guarantee instead of a bank guarantee over a defamation case.



Mumbai: Bombay High Court on Monday allowed the
Times Now news channel to furnish a corporate guarantee instead
of a bank guarantee of Rs 80 crore in connection with the
defamation case filed by former Supreme Court judge P B
Sawant.

Times Global Broadcasting Company (TGBC), which runs
Times Now, had sought modification of High Court`s September
order, wherein it was asked to deposit Rs 20 crore with the
court, and provide bank guarantee of Rs 80 crore for balance.

Justice Sawant had sued the channel for displaying his
photograph during a telecast of a report on a Provident Fund
scam allegedly involving a Calcutta High Court judge in
September 2008. The telecast showed Sawant`s photograph
instead of that of the other judge.

A Pune court ordered the channel to pay Justice Sawant Rs
100 crore as damages, and when the channel moved the High
Court in appeal, HC asked it to deposit Rs 20 crore and give
bank guarantee for balance sum.

Supreme Court granted Times Now no relief regarding HC
order, following which, it filed an application before the HC,
saying that it would be "unviable" to pay huge commission to
banks, instead a corporate guarantee be accepted.

The Court today accepted the affidavit filed by Bennet
Coleman and Co, parent company of Times Now, in this regard.
Bennet Coleman has identified two properties -- one in
Bangalore, valued at Rs 80 crore and the other in
Secunderabad, valued at Rs 30 crore -- as security towards
the corporate guarantee.

Its lawyer, Iqbal Chhagla, assured that these properties
would not be sold or transferred until the matter is decided.
The bench headed by Justice D K Deshmukh has ordered the
company to give documents related to the two properties to
Protonotary of High Court, who shall verify them and confirm
their valuation within four weeks.

PTI

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