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Delhi HC Directs Twitter To Take Down Defamatory Tweets Against India Today & Rajdeep Sardesai In Connection With Rhea Interview[Read Order]

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
27 Sep 2020 1:54 PM GMT
Delhi HC Directs Twitter To Take Down Defamatory Tweets Against India Today & Rajdeep Sardesai In Connection With Rhea Interview[Read Order]
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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, the Delhi High Court remarked in an order directing Twitter to take down defamatory tweets against India Today Group and Journalist Rajdeep Sardesai.Living Media India Limited (India Today...

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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, the Delhi High Court remarked in an order directing Twitter to take down defamatory tweets against India Today Group and Journalist Rajdeep Sardesai.

Living Media India Limited (India Today Group) and Journalist Rajdeep Sardesai had approached the High Court against Rakesh Krishnan Thiyya (former copy editor) aggrieved by his defamatory and/or derogatory tweets against them. The tweet was regarding the interview Sardesai conducted with  Rhea Chakraborty and contained a cuss word against him and also other allegations. It was contended that reputation of the employees of India Today Group, like Rajdeep Sardesai, is inextricably linked with the goodwill and business interests.

Rakesh Krishnan had also tweeted about 'killing of the story regarding one, Mr. Sumit Mukherjee; the fudging of circulation figures concerning the India Today magazine; falsely extolling the virtues of a book authored by one, Mr. Raj Chengappa, titled "Weapons of Peace: Secret Story of India's Quest to Be a Nuclear Power". Regarding the interview with Rhea, his allegation was that 'Rajdeep Sardesai would have, perhaps, accepted money for the interview that he conducted'. He has also used a cuss word against Sardesai and called him a "fixer"/ "dalla" i.e. a pimp

Perusing the tweets, Justice Rajiv Shakder observed that the plaintiffs have made out, at least at this stage, a prima facie case in their favour that the impugned tweets lack justification. The judge observed:

"In any event, the usage of cuss words against an employee of the plaintiffs, not only impacts the reputation of the concerned individual and lowers his image in the eyes of his friends, acquaintances, peers and associates but also impinges upon the business interests of the plaintiffs. In my view, opinion, if any, held by defendant no. 1 could have been expressed even while maintaining civility. 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."

Issuing notice, the court directed the Twitter to take down the impugned tweets and/or block/suspend the URLs. Rakesh Krishnan has also been injuncted from uploading, hereafter, derogatory and/or defamatory statements, articles, comments, passages and such like material qua India Today Group and Rajdeep Sardesai till further orders.

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