Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
News Updates

Sexual Harassment | Expression Of Victim's Trauma A Fundamental Right, Can Only Be Curtailed Under 4 Heads Like If Defamation, Contempt, Etc.: Delhi Court

Nupur Thapliyal
19 Feb 2022 5:15 AM GMT
Sexual Harassment | Expression Of Victims Trauma A Fundamental Right, Can Only Be Curtailed Under 4 Heads Like If Defamation, Contempt, Etc.: Delhi Court
x

A Delhi Court has observed that expression of a victim's trauma or experience is his or her fundamental right which can only be curtained if it is falls under four broad categories. Additional Civil Judge Preeti Parewa listed the four categories as under:- Libel, slander or defamation;- Contempt of court;- Offends against decency or morality, and- Undermines the security or tends to overthrow...

A Delhi Court has observed that expression of a victim's trauma or experience is his or her fundamental right which can only be curtained if it is falls under four broad categories.

Additional Civil Judge Preeti Parewa listed the four categories as under:

- Libel, slander or defamation;

- Contempt of court;

- Offends against decency or morality, and

- Undermines the security or tends to overthrow the State.

The Court was dealing with a case in relation to alleged sexual harassment against the CEO of ScoopWhoop by an employee namely Samdish Bhatia.

It was the case of the plaintiff company namely Whoopscoop Media Pvt. Ltd. that Bhatia was an employee or consultant in "UNSCRIPTED" with his last contract ending on September 30, 2021. Whereas the defendant no.2 was Chief Executive Officer of "ScoopWhoop Media Private Limited" being a spin off company of plaintiff company and also its Director and Founding Member.

Bhatia had filed a complaint of sexual harassment against the defendant no.2 and his wife, which was sub ­judice before the Grievance Committee constituted under the (Prevention of Sexual Harassment at Work) Act.

It was thus the plaintiff's case that Bhatia had published or circulated some posts regarding his allegations of sexual harassment through Instagram and youtube which may damage the reputation of the plaintiff company and also hamper the fair enquiry.

Therefore, as an interim measure, the plaintiff company had sought a grant of temporary injunction in it's favour and against the defendants restraining them, from writing, speaking or content creation of anything pertaining to any allegations against each other or anything pertaining to the pending complaint and allegations by Bhatia qua alleged incident till pendency of the present suit.

Bhatia had opposed the application and challenged the locus of the plaintiff company by submitting that the complaint was filed before the Internal Complaints Committee ScoopWhoop wherein no action was taken and the same was transferred to the plaintiff company without his consent.

He also submitted that the plaintiff company had failed to show any prima ­facie case in its favour and that the alleged media reports, screen­shots of videos and social media posts do not, in any manner, name or indicate the name of the plaintiff company.

It was also his case that the the plaintiff company had not ­established a prima facie case that there was loss of subscribers or goodwill or reputation of the company and that the balance of convenience did not lie in favour of the plaintiff company.

The Court noted that for making out a prima­ facie case, it is imperative for the court to carefully analyse the pleadings and the documents on record. It added that in the grant and refusal of injunction, pleadings and documents play a vital role.

The Court took note of the plaintiff's case that a complaint of sexual harassment was filed by the Bhatia which was sub­judice with its Grievance Cell constituted under the POSH Act.

The Court also noted that it was also an admitted fact that the allegations were not covered in the Act and that the complaint was not filed before the plaintiff company nor Bhatia was employed with the plaintiff company.

"Thus, it cannot be said that the plaintiff company has been in any way "injured" with the acts of the defendant no.1," the Court noted.

It said "A legal right / injury has to be established before considering any case for grant of injunction which prima­ facie appears to be absent in the present case. Further, the alleged posts / contents / video in question do not mention the name of the plaintiff company nor is obscene / derogatory / defamatory prima­ facie."

"Expression of a victim's trauma or experience is his / her fundamental right which can only be curtained it it is falls under four broad categories i.e. "libel, slander, defamation", "contempt of court", "offends against decency or morality" and "undermines the security or tends to overthrow the State"."

The Court was of the view that the alleged posts did not fall in any of the ­said category and thus, the relief could not be granted. Thus, the Court dismissed the application.

Case Title: WHOOPSCOOP MEDIA PVT LTD THROUGH ITS AUTHORIZED SIGNATORY MRS NIVA MUKHERJEE Vs. SAMDISH BHATIA

Click Here To Read Order 


Next Story