The Delhi High court on July 15 has ordered US-based tech companies Google LLC, Facebook and Twitter to take down all objectionable posts and tweets from their platforms where a woman has levied allegations against a suspended civil servant.
The court has ordered the woman against publishing news related to the man in any manner, be it on Facebook, or Google, Youtube, any newspaper, or TV channel, Instagram, Twitter until further order in the matter. The order noted,
Considering the averments made in the plaint (by the man) and the application as also the documents filed therewith, this court finds that the complainant (man) has made out a prima facie case in his favour and in case no ad-interim ex parte injunction is granted, the complainant would suffer an irreparable loss. The balance of convenience also lies in favour of the complainant.
Justice Mukta Gupta in the order passed on July 15 also asked the woman, social media platforms, Google, Facebook and Twitter to refrain from posting anything until the matter comes up for further hearing on August 31. It read,
Issue summons in the suit and notice in the application to the defendants.
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The suspended IAS officer, in his plaint, has also brought up the damages he faced for being defamed by the woman.
The man said he came in contact with the woman, who already was married, through Facebook in 2017. The alleged accused, who is an IAS officer, was in Mexico as a part of an Indian Government’s delegation at that time. The lady thereafter sent him a number of friend requests which he finally accepted.
The man said that he had categorically informed the woman that he was married, however, at her instance, he met her at a hospital where he was staying. The officer later alleged that the woman started asking him for money since February 2018.
The man also also confirmed of giving her money only for bailing out a friend who was in trouble. However, the woman then went all out and started abusing and physically assaulting him. She also threatened to commit suicide.
Demands By Woman
The man alleged that the woman demanded Rs 20 Crore, and insisted that he bought her a flat in Delhi. Moreover, she also asked him to transfer his Ahmedabad home in her name.
Woman Files Complaints
The woman later filed a complaint with the Crime against Women Cell and National Human Rights Commission against the IAS officer. They investigated the matter, however, did not find any ill motive by the accused.
To defame the man publicly she then took to social media by launching an online campaign, wherein she gave her one-sided statements on different platforms and subsequently, various articles and posts on social media platforms have been published against the man. It is then that the officer approached court demanding that these defamatory posts be taken down. The order noted,
Considering the nature of posts published against the complainant, defendant No. 2-Google LLC is directed to take down/disable the posts/links from the country domain.
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The court also directed Twitter Inc. to take down the tweets from the country domain, pertaining to the case, as the man quoted the tweets in his documents. The court then also asked the man to provide the necessary URLs to Twitter, which would then take down the right tweets mentioned in the documents.
The court in its order said,
The defendant No. 4-Facebook Inc. in the meantime, is also ordered to take down the posts from Facebook as mentioned in the plaint within one week from the date of intimation of the order.
The counsel for Google then submitted that the articles and posts are of all the newspapers’ articles or news channels, those are uploaded by the google algorithm and the authenticity thereof would be only known to the news channels and sought that they may be impleaded as parties in the suit.
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