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Delhi HC Restrains Anurag Srivastava From Publishing Defamatory Content Against 'India Today', Rajdeep Sardesai And Others [Read Order]

Sparsh Upadhyay
19 Oct 2020 6:41 AM GMT
Delhi HC Restrains Anurag Srivastava From Publishing Defamatory Content Against India Today, Rajdeep Sardesai And Others [Read Order]
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The Delhi High Court recently restrained a person named Anurag Srivastava (defendant No. 1) from directly or indirectly publishing, re-publishing, sending or posting any tweet or information either in the electronic form or through internet, email or social media, or any print or communication media whatsoever, the statement or post which is derogatory/defamatory in its contents to the TV...

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The Delhi High Court recently restrained a person named Anurag Srivastava (defendant No. 1) from directly or indirectly publishing, re-publishing, sending or posting any tweet or information either in the electronic form or through internet, email or social media, or any print or communication media whatsoever, the statement or post which is derogatory/defamatory in its contents to the TV Today Network Limited ( India Today Group), or its top management, or its anchors or its other office-bearers.

The Bench of Justice Mukta Gupta also directed Twitter to suspend/block the Twitter handles of defendant No. 1 (Anurag Srivastava).

Facts of the Case

The present suit was preferred by the plaintiff (TV Today network limited), a media conglomerate and transmits & broadcasts the news etc. through print media as well as electronic media.

As is well-known, the plaintiff (TV Today network limited) is also engaged in diverse business activities ranging from printing and publishing of magazines, journals, periodicals and newspapers to the running of news channels, infotainment channels, organizing conferences, seminars etc.


By this suit, the plaintiff (TV Today Network Limited) sought a decree of permanent and mandatory injunction against defendant No. 1 (Anurag Srivastava) restraining him from making the systematic attack on the plaintiff's reputation by making false and baseless tweets.
It was contended that the offending tweets show that defendant No. 1 (Anurag Srivastava) was levelling allegations against the plaintiff and one of its main anchors of having taken a sum of ₹ 8 Crores to interview a personality presently in news.

It was also alleged by defendant No. 1 (Anurag Srivastava) in his tweets that at the time of the birth of the said anchor itself, the concerned nurse made obnoxious remarks and that the said anchor is involved in making fake news. The said anchor was also compared to a person, who is facing extradition proceedings.

The counsel for the plaintiff (TV Today network limited) stated that the said three tweets were taken down by defendant No. 1 (Anurag Srivastava), however, on a search through Google, the same was available.

In the light of these facts, the counsel for the defendant No. 3 (Google LLC) stated that it will provide a web form to the learned counsel for the plaintiff who may fill up the same and apply for deletion of search results and the said tweets will be taken down.

The counsel for the defendant No. 3 (Google LLC) further stated that by the passage of time, otherwise also, these tweets would not show up in the search in view of the new search results coming up

Court's Directions

Considering the averments in the plaint as also the documents filed therewith, the Court found that the plaintiff had made out a prima facie case in its favour and in case no ad-interim injunction is granted, the plaintiff would suffer an irreparable loss.

Consequently, the Court directed,

"Till the next date of hearing before this Court, defendant No. 1 (Anurag Srivastava) is restrained from directly or indirectly publishing, re-publishing, sending or posting any tweet or information either in the electronic form or through the internet, email of social media or any print or communication media whatsoever, the statement or post which is derogatory/defamatory in its contents to the plaintiff or its top management or its anchors or its other office bearers."

Further, it was also directed,

"The defendant No. 2 (Twitter) shall suspend/block the Twitter handles of defendant No. 1 (Anurag Srivastava) and will file the basic subscription information of the account holder of the Twitter accounts impugned i.e. '@theanuragkts' and '@theanuragoffice' in the Court and supply a copy thereof to the learned counsel for the plaintiff as a password-protected document before the next date of hearing."

Notably, according to a report by web-portal 'exchange4media', last month, India Today Group had lodged a formal complaint with Twitter India and had decided to take legal action against Entrepreneur Anurag Srivastava for his tweet claiming that Rhea Chakraborty allegedly gave Rs 8 crores to Rajdeep Sardesai and India Today for her interview.

It may be noted that last month the Delhi High Court, while directing Twitter to take down defamatory tweets against India Today Group and Journalist Rajdeep Sardesai had remarked that since social media platforms are accessed by a large number of persons of various ages, it is expected of users to display sobriety and common courtesies to those towards whom the comments are directed.

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