by: Ch. Muhammad Natiq
British-Pakistani businessman and property developer Aneel Mussarat has won a defamation case against right-wing Indian broadcaster Republic Bharat at the London High Court over allegations made by the channel’s lead anchor Arnab Goswami.
Aneel Mussarat had taken legal action at the UK high court after Republic TV called him a “stooge” of the main Pakistani spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), and accused him of spreading terror in Indian during a show aired in the UK on 22 July 2020. Aneel Mussarat had claimed that the allegations have caused serious harm to his reputation as he was not a stooge of the ISI and had no links with any terrorist group or anything illegal. The judge accepted that the publication of defamatory words “had caused or is likely to cause serious harm to the reputation of the claimant”.
The high court in London held that there was no evidence behind assertions that Aneel Musarrat was an “ISI stooge”. Speaking to this correspondent, Aneel Mussarat expressed joy at winning the case against Republic Bharat.
“I have never worked for any spy agency. I have never been involved in any kind of terror or illegal act. In July 2020, at the beginning of Covid, Republic TV Channel and Arnab Goswami broadcasted multiple TV programs defaming my character, alleging me of being an ISI agent and spreading terrorism in India. I applied to the Royal Court of justice for vindication. I am glad I have been vindicated and I am thankful for the British justice system.”
The judge issued orders in favour of Aneel Mussarat, stressing there was no realistic prospect of the defendant providing an apology. The judge awarded legal costs of £37,500 to Mussarat and £10000 in damages as Aneel Mussarat had sought only token damages.
Aneel Mussarat had taken legal action at UK high court after Republic TV called him the “stooge” of the main Pakistani spy agency.
A high court in London holds that there was no evidence behind assertions that Musarrat was an “ISI stooge”.
Republic Bharat remains absent throughout court proceedings.