New Delhi: Film producer and friend of actor Sushant Singh Rajput, Sandip Ssingh, has sent a legal notice to Republic TV and its editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami for alleged defamation and has claimed Rs 200 crore as compensation.
Ssingh reportedly claimed that Republic TV “maligned his image in public” and termed him a “key conspirator” and “murderer” in the Sushant Singh Rajput’s death case.
The notice sent through advocate Rajesh Kumar stated that the channel’s actions amount to defamation under section 499 of the Indian Penal Code, which is punishable under section 500 of the Code.
The notice has demanded the channel to “drop all malicious footage, articles and telecast against Ssingh” and “tender an unconditional public apology in writing/video”.
Ssingh told the Times of India, “Money alone can’t compensate for the image and respect that I have lost in these past four months. I’ve struggled for 20 years to build my reputation as a film producer and because of the slander campaign that the channel ran against me everyday, financiers for my future projects are backing out, and exhibitors and distributors of our new film, PM Narendra Modi, are apprehensive about giving it too many shows when they see my name attached.”
Ssingh told TOI that the legal notice is an attempt to rebuild his reputation and save himself from the trauma that the channel has caused him and his mother and sister.
Ssingh’s production company Legend Global Studio set up in 2015 has made films like Bhoomi and Sarbjit, apart from the biopic on the prime minister. “Thank god for the CBI enquiry. I was waiting to get my confidence back and take the right step.”
The notice which was sent on Wednesday highlighted news items carried by the channel “with a criminal intent to extort money.” “I’ve been accused of being a drug peddler, being connected to Dawood.”
The legal notice also recounted that Republic ran a campaign with the hashtag #ArrestSandeepSsingh. “They ran a hashtag asking for my arrest for 50 days at a stretch while their correspondents kept stalking my car or tried entering my house. Why? I was not in hiding!” said Ssingh, who claims to have known Rajput for ten years.
“I met him when he was transitioning from TV to films. Being Biharis we got along very well.”
Ssingh further objected to the channel’s statement that he wanted to “run away to the UK” to escape investigation, according to a report.
“Will he [Goswami] go on air and apologise to me for 50 days? If he can’t, let’s fight the legal battle.”
Note: The headline of an earlier version of this story incorrectly said Sandip Ssingh has sued Republic TV.