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Delhi High Court Directs Sameet Thakkar To Take Down Tweets Against TV Today Network, Its Management & Employees

Sparsh Upadhyay
20 Nov 2020 4:53 AM GMT
Delhi High Court Directs Sameet Thakkar To Take Down Tweets Against TV Today Network, Its Management & Employees
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The Delhi High Court on Wednesday (18th November) directed Sameet Thakkar to take down the Tweets allegedly posted against TV Today Network, its Management & employees from his Twitter account within 48 hours.The Bench of Justice Mukta Gupta was hearing the suit filed by Plaintiff, T.V. Today Network Limited against Sameet Thakkar, who allegedly posted tweets, using derogatory and...

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The Delhi High Court on Wednesday (18th November) directed Sameet Thakkar to take down the Tweets allegedly posted against TV Today Network, its Management & employees from his Twitter account within 48 hours.

The Bench of Justice Mukta Gupta was hearing the suit filed by Plaintiff, T.V. Today Network Limited against Sameet Thakkar, who allegedly posted tweets, using derogatory and defamatory language against the Plaintiff, its management and its employees.

It may be noted that the Plaintiff had given 29 sets of ULRs, which were not removed by defendant No. 1 till date.

The Court in its order said,

"Defendant No. 1 is directed to take down the said ULRs from its Twitter account within 48 hours of the receipt of copy of such replication from the learned counsel for the plaintiff, failing which the plaintiff would write a letter to the learned counsel for the defendant No. 3 (Twitter) giving the specified 29 sets of ULRs as provided in Para 11 of the replication, which the defendant No. 3 (Twitter) will take down within 72 hours thereafter."

The Matter has been listed for further hearing on Thursday (14th January 2021).

Background of the Case

The Plaintiff in the matter, T.V. Today Network Limited filed a suit against the Defendant No.1 (Sameet Thakkar), who operates a twitter handle at '@thakkar_sameet' as also Defendant No. 2 - Aadhyaasi Media And Content Services Private Limited.

The allegations of the Plaintiff was that the Defendant No.1 (Sameet Thakkar) had, on 15th April, 2020, during the lockdown period, published 35 tweets on his Twitter handle at one go, making various allegations against the Plaintiff (T.V. Today Network Limited), and its top management.

Thereafter, as alleged by the plaintiff, the Defendant No.1 continued to publish several tweets using very disparaging and derogatory language against the Plaintiff and its management as also news anchors who appear on the Plaintiff's channels Aaj Tak and India Today.

It was stated in the plaint that the allegations made by Sameet Thakkar are completely baseless and have also now been picked up by other persons who are retweeting the Defendant No.1's tweets.

Hrishikesh Baruah, the Counsel appearing for the Plaintiff had submitted before the Court that both the India Today Group as also Mr. Aroon Purie, Mr. Rahul Kanwal - the anchor and other top management enjoy enormous goodwill and reputation in the industry, and making baseless allegations and using of derogatory and disparaging remarks against them has caused personal injury to their reputation

Court's May 06th Order

In this backdrop, the Delhi High Court, in its 06th May Order, had observed,

"The tweets make wild allegations and also use derogatory and defamatory language against the Plaintiff, its management and its employees. The tweets are also very offensive and some contain abusive language. Such a campaign against the Plaintiff, its management and employees can be extremely damaging to their reputation and also cause personal injury to them and their family members. The tweets are in bad taste and use objectionable language including abuses."

Further, the Court had opined,

"This Court is of the opinion that a prima facie case is made out for grant of interim relief to protect the Plaintiff until the Defendant enters appearance in the matter. Balance of inconvenience is also in favour of the Plaintiff and irreparable injury could be caused to the reputation of the Plaintiff which is a well established media company as also its management and employees if protection is not granted."

Lastly, the Court had directed Defendant No.1 (Sameet Thakakr),

"To restrain from publishing any defamatory or derogatory posts/tweets or making abusive remarks against the Plaintiff, its management, employees including news anchors and their family members either through his Twitter handle or on any other social media platform or any other print/electronic medium."

About Sameet thakkar

Sameet Thakkar is a Nagpur resident and he came to light when he was arrested over alleged offensive social media posts against Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and his son, state minister Aaditya Thackeray.

On July 1, 2020, a complaint came to be filed against Thakkar at Nagpur by one Nitin Tiwari, a Shiv Sena functionary for allegedly posting some objectionable tweets against Uddhav Thackeray.

Another complaint came to be filed against the petitioner for allegedly posting some objectionable tweets, with VP Road Police Station, Mumbai by Dharmendra Mishra, who is an Advocate and also a Shiv Sena functionary.

Another complaint was filed at BKC Cyber Cell. FIRs were registered in all the above complaints for offences under provisions of IPC and IT Act.

The petitioner filed writ petitions before the Bombay High Court seeking protection from arrest. He was arrested on October 24, 2020 from Rajkot by the Sitabuldi Police Station, Nagpur.

After securing his transit bail from the Rajkot Court, the police took the petitioner to Nagpur. He was produced before the Nagpur Magistrate Court on October 26.

The Supreme Court on Monday (16th November) refused to entertain an Article 32 petition filed on behalf of Sameet Thakkar for transfer and consolidation of investigation in the FIRs pertaining to his tweets against the Chief Minister of Maharashtra and other Cabinet Ministers.

A Bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde directed Senior Advocate Mahesh Jethmalani, appearing on behalf of Thakkar, to withdraw the plea and approach the appropriate forum, that is, the Bombay High Court.

Case title - T.V. Today Network Ltd. v. Sameet Thakkar & ors [CS(OS) 123/2020]

Click Here To Download Order

[Read Order]



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