18 Feb 2022 6:19 AM GMT
The Delhi High Court on Friday restrained historian Dr. Audrey Truschke and other persons from publishing any defamatory material against historian Dr. Vikram Sampath against him till April 1 on Twitter as well as other online or offline platforms.Passing an ad interim order, Justice Amit Bansal also restrained the defendants from publishing the letter dated February 11 addressed to...
The Delhi High Court on Friday restrained historian Dr. Audrey Truschke and other persons from publishing any defamatory material against historian Dr. Vikram Sampath against him till April 1 on Twitter as well as other online or offline platforms.
Passing an ad interim order, Justice Amit Bansal also restrained the defendants from publishing the letter dated February 11 addressed to Royal Historical Society in London raising serious allegations of plagiarism against Sampath, till the next date of hearing.
"Till the next date of hearing, defendants no. 1, 2, and 3 are restrained from posting the letter dated 11th February, 2022 or any other defamatory material in respect of the plaintiff on the platform of defendant no. 4 as well as any other online or offline platforms," the Court ordered.
The Court was hearing a suit filed by Sampath against Audrey Truschke and other persons over a letter sent by them to Royal Historical Society raising allegations of plagiarism against him with respect to a journal publication and his two-volume biography of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar and some alleged defamatory tweets made pursuant thereto.
The suit stated that Historian Audrey Truschke and other persons namely Ananya Chakravarti and Rohit Chopra wrote the letter dated February 11 to Royal Historical Society in London raising serious allegations of plagiarism.
It has been stated in the suit that a perusal of the letter will show that the crux of the allegation made against Sampath is that in an essay written for the Journal, he had plagiarized from an essay written by one Vinayak Chaturvedi.
Furthermore, the suit also referred to some alleged defamatory tweets made by Abhishek Baxi and Ashok Swain alleging that the same were posted with a mala fide intent to hit Sampath's professional reputation not only at the national level but also across the whole world.
During the course of hearing today, Advocate Raghav Awasthi appearing for Sampath submitted that he had adequately cited and gave due credits to the authors and therefore, Sampath cannot be held liable for plagiarism.
He argued that Dr. Jhanki Bhakhle had even written a review of Sampath's book in question and had made no grievance of plagiarism.
Awasthi also argued that the publication of the said letter at various social media platforms including Twitter was causing grave harm to reputation of him as a known academic.
"Plaintiff has taken me through various extracts quoted in the letter to show that he has given due credits and has footnoted the said works," the Court noted.
It added "In my view, plaintiff has made a prima facie case for grant of ad interim injunction in his favour. The continued publication of the aforesaid letter has been causing considerable harm to the plaintiff's reputation and career. Balance of convenience is in favour of the plaintiff and further irreparable harm and injury would be cause to the plaintiff if ad interim injunction is not granted."
On the other hand, Senior Advocate Sajan Poovayya appearing for Twitter submitted before the Court that was only an intermediary and that if URLs are provided, the same may be taken down by the micro blogging site.
The Court however clarified that it wasn't passing any specific directions to Twitter at the interim stage.
The Court issued summons in the suit and posted the matter for further hearing on April 1.
The suit sought decree of permanent injunction against the aforementioned defendants to cease the publication of Letter or any other defamatory material.
The suit also sought damage of Rs. 2 crore from the said defendants.
The suit was also accompanied with an application seeking ad interim ex parte injunction restraining the said defendants from publishing the Letter or any other defamatory material on Twitter or any other online or offline platforms during the pendency of the suit. It also sought an ad-interim ex-parte injunction directing Twitter to cease publication of the allegedly defamatory tweets in question.
Case Title: DR. VIKRAM SAMPATH v. DR. AUDREY TRUSCHKE & ORS