The Case of Stolen Au­dio Tapes and an Arnab Goswami

Libertatem Magazine - - Contents - Jane Maria Tomy

Facts

Times Now have filed a com­plaint against the Arnab Goswami for mis­us­ing the in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty of Ties Now. Arnab Goswami’s Repub­lic TV had broad­casted a su­per-ex­clu­sive pro­gram on Su­nanda Pushkar’s mur­der case. The Times Now, who was his pre­vi­ous em­ployer, al­leged that Arnab Goswami had pro­cured and used the au­dio tapes of Su­nanda Pushkar’s mur­der case and Lalu Prasad con­tro­versy which was with the Times Now and had played it in his Repub­lic TV’S de­bate show. In the au­dio tapes, a conversation be­tween the ex-jour­nal­ist of Times Now, Prem Sridevi and Su­nanda Pushkar and her do­mes­tic aid Narayan was recorded. It was the ar­gu­ment of Times Now that these au­dio tapes were ac­cessed by Arnab Goswami dur­ing his em­ploy­ment with Times Now. The BCCI also said that the tapes were recorded be­fore the res­ig­na­tion of Arnab Goswami from the Times Now Group. The pe­ti­tion­ers also made an al­le­ga­tion that Goswami was pur­pose­fully with­hold­ing the broad­cast­ing of the tape while in em­ploy­ment with the Times Now so that he can now earn more fame and kick­start his ca­reer with Repub­lic TV.

Is­sues

The suit was filed on crim­i­nal grounds al­leg­ing breach of em­ploy­ment con­tract and mis­us­ing of in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty rights of Times Now.

Judg­ment

The court ob­served that the Times Now group had failed to give sub­stan­tial ev­i­dence that they had owned the in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty rights on the au­dio tape. But, the ques­tion that was of most im­por­tance was whether Arnab Goswami had in­dulged in the in­fringe­ment of the in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty rights of the Times Now Group.

The court in its or­der stated:

“It is well set­tled law that an em­ployee has to main­tain con­fi­den­tial­ity and ut­most fi­delity to­wards his em­ployer. Ac­cord­ingly, the de­fen­dants can be re­strained from breach­ing the con­tract — re­pro­duc­ing or mis­us­ing the con­fi­den­tial in­for­ma­tion of the plain­tiff and us­ing or tele­cast­ing the same as that would amount to in­fringe­ment of the plain­tiff ’s rights.” The case, hav­ing been filed in Delhi High Court, the court have is­sued an or­der to the de­fen­dants – Arnab Goswami and oth­ers – to sub­mit writ­ten state­ments and to ap­pear for the hear­ing. The Repub­lic TV has been al­leged to have broad­casted stolen au­dio tapes from Times Now Group.

Learn­ing Out­come

Thus, it is im­por­tant to note that the em­ploy­ees shall not vi­ti­ate their em­ploy­ment con­tract by tak­ing out the in­for­ma­tion and sources from their pre­vi­ous em­ployer main­tained dur­ing their em­ploy­ment with him.

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