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Delhi HC says allegations made by AAP leaders against LG 'defamatory', made in reckless manner

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New Delhi | September 27, 2022 6:28:35 PM IST
The Delhi High Court on Tuesday passed an interim injunction which asked Aam Aadmi Party and its leaders to take down "defamatory" content against Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena and said these have been made in a reckless manner, without any factual verification.

The court asked AAP and its leaders to refrain from posting any defamatory or factually incorrect tweets, re-tweets, hashtags, videos of press conferences against Lieutenant Governor V.K. Saxena and his family.

The court viewed various statements, interviews, press conferences, tweets, re-tweets, and hashtags made by the AAP leaders.

The AAP leaders had accused Saxena of corrupt practices during demonetisation following which the Delhi LG had approached the court seeking an injunction that restrained the AAP leaders including Durgesh Pathak, Saurabh Bhardwaj, Atishi Marlena, Sanjay Singh and Jasmine Shah from further levelling allegations against him.

"On a prima facie view, the various statements, interviews, press conferences, tweets, re-tweets, and hashtags made by the defendants are per se defamatory. The same have been made in a reckless manner, without any factual verification, in order to tarnish the reputation of the plaintiff," the court observed.

The court said it cannot be gainsaid that the reputation of a person is earned after years and the same cannot be tarnished by any other individual in a casual manner.

"The damage caused to the reputation of an individual is immediate and far-reaching on the internet. So long as the impugned content continues to be in circulation and visible on social media, it is likely to cause continuing damage to the reputation and image of the plaintiff," observed Justice Amit Bansal of Delhi High Court

The court also observed that grave and irreparable harm and injury would be caused to the reputation of the plaintiff if the aforesaid defamatory content continues to exist on the internet and social media platforms.

The court on Tuesday passed an interim injunction order in favour of the plaintiff and against the Aam Aadmi Party leaders in connection with the defamation suit filed by the Delhi Lieutenant Governor.

The court, in its order, directed defendants/several AAP leaders to delete or remove all the defamatory or factually incorrect tweets, re-tweets, hashtags, videos of press conferences, interviews, comments, captions and taglines against the plaintiff and/or his daughter published on the social media platforms Twitter and Youtube (Google Inc) respectively.

If the defendants fail to comply with the aforesaid direction within 48 hours of the pronouncement of the judgment, the defendant's Twitter and Youtube (Google Inc) are directed to take down the hashtags.

The order was reserved on September 22.

The court noted that it is the case of the plaintiff that the defendants have launched a barrage of personal attacks, making unsubstantiated and baseless allegations that the plaintiff has indulged in corruption and money laundering to the tune of Rs.1,400,00,00,000 (rupees one thousand four hundred crore) at the time of demonetisation in November 2016, while the plaintiff was the Chairman of the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC). (ANI)

 
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