New Delhi, September 27
The Delhi High Court on Tuesday restrained AAP and its five leaders from making “defamatory” statements against Delhi Lt-Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena and ordered them to take down the “completely unsubstantiated” libellous posts, videos and tweets against him on social media.
Rs 1,400-crore scam alleged
- AAP leaders had accused vk Saxena of having received and channelised demonetised currency in November 2016 while acting as the Chairman of Khadi and Village Industries Commission.
- The AAP had alleged that Saxena was involved in a Rs 1,400-crore scam.
Excise Policy case: CBI arrests bizman Nair
The CBI on Tuesday arrested Vijay Nair, former CEO of events management company Only Much Louder in connection with the Delhi excise policy scam case in which Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and 13 others are also accused.
In an interim order, Justice Amit Bansal said prima facie, the statements or interviews or press conferences or tweets or re-tweets or hashtags made by AAP and its leaders were “per se defamatory” and made in a reckless manner, without any factual verification, to tarnish Saxena’s reputation.
“Grave and irreparable harm and injury would be caused to the reputation of the plaintiff (Saxena) if the aforesaid defamatory content continues to exist on the internet and social media platforms of defendants no. 7 and 8 (Twitter and YouTube) and if the defendants are permitted to continue making defamatory statements of this nature against the plaintiff,” Justice Bansal said.
The order came on a suit filed by Saxena seeking to restrain AAP and its leaders Atishi Singh, Saurabh Bharadwaj, Durgesh Pathak, Sanjay Singh and Jasmine Shah from levelling false allegations against him and to direct them to delete/take down the alleged false and libellous posts or tweets or videos circulated and issued on social media against him and his family.
The Delhi Lt-Governor has also sought Rs 2.5 crore as damages with interest from AAP and its five leaders.
The HC said the right to freedom of speech and expression was not an unfettered right in the garb of which defamatory statements could be made to tarnish the reputation of a person. The High Court also issued notice to AAP and its leaders, Twitter and YouTube on the suit and asked them to respond to it while fixing the matter for hearing on February 6, 2023.
(With PTI inputs)
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