“The skill and excellence acquired by a journalist at the workplace is hers. It’s not company property”: How Delhi HC backed Sucherita Kukreti against Rajat Sharma’s ‘India TV’

To prevent journalists from jumping ship for a higher CTC, thus necessitating higher costs for retention and fresh recruitment, India’s media barons often have informal “non-poaching” agreements.

The simple philosophy: “We won’t take journalists from your company. You don’t take journalists from ours.”

Such duopolistic practices run counter to the “market economy” which most owners otherwise tout as the panacea for all ills.

In the absence of a non-poaching agreement, it is all-out war.

***

On the eve of the launch of Arnab Goswami’s ‘Republic Bharat’, Rajat Sharma’s ‘India TV’ went to court to prevent anchor Sucherita Kukreti from hopping over before her contract ended.

The judge underlined the journalist’s rights and threw out India TV’s plea.

“The skill and excellence acquired by the defendant (journalist) is the personal acquisition of the defendant. The plaintiff (India TV) cannot have proprietary rights or interest in such acquisition of excellence by the defendant, even if with the contribution from the plaintiff. Excellence is a skill which is personal to the defendant.”

Screenshot: courtesy The Indian Express

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