After hearing arguments at length, HMJ Mukta Gupta was pleased to pass an ad-interim order in favour of the Plaintiff, whereby directing the Defendants to take-down the impugned articles from the internet in their entirety
Daniel Snyder, American Billionaire and majority owner of the world-renowned Washington Football Team had approached the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi against meaww.com, its directors and journalists, seeking Rs. 75 Crores in damages further also praying for a disclosure qua the sources from where meaww.com had procured information forming part of the absolutely frivolous, scandalous and defamatory articles that were published on meaww.com. Mr Snyder had accused the website of having accepted payments in exchange for publishing defamatory rumours, including one that linked Mr Snyder with Jeffrey Epstein, the notorious sex criminal and offender.
Mr Snyder had already approached the federal courts in the US, seeking discovery against the media website, which claims to have more than 250 million subscribers across the globe. Mr. Snyder had further alleged in his suit filed before the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi that the impugned articles uploaded on meaww.com were false, frivolous, and scandalous and were uploaded with the sole intention to malign and tarnish his goodwill and reputation across the globe. It was averred in the suit filed before the Hon’ble High Court that the contents of the impugned articles were procured without any verification and/or confirmation and the sole agenda of the Defendants before the Hon’ble High Court, behind uploading such posts was to reap undue benefits and illegal gains inasmuch as Mr Snyder had alleged that the website accepts payments in lieu of uploading such scandalous posts.
During the course of arguments, it was submitted before the Hon’ble Court that although the impugned articles had allegedly been removed from the website, they were still accessible upon a basic internet search, thus leading to continued defamation of the Plaintiff across the globe. It was further submitted before the Hon’ble Court that the Defendant No. 3 to the suit, i.e. Mr Nirnay Chowdhary had acknowledged that the contents of the impugned post were published without any verification and that there were blatant errors in the impugned articles, thus submitting that this was a clear act of targeting the Plaintiff and defaming him across the globe and as such the Defendants were guilty of the act of defamation.
After hearing arguments at length, HMJ Mukta Gupta was pleased to pass an ad-interim order in favour of the Plaintiff, whereby directing the Defendants to take-down the impugned articles from the internet in their entirety, further blocking all the impugned URL’s/weblinks, and to remove any such impugned articles in the future upon intimation by the Plaintiff. The Hon’ble Judge further observed that by virtue of being a news reporting website, the Defendants were bound to conduct investigations before uploading articles and as such they had prima facie defamed the Plaintiff and that the balance of convenience lay in favour of the Plaintiff. The Hon’ble Judge further directed the Defendants to provide information qua the sources from where they had procured the defamatory and scandalous information forming part of the impugned articles.
Mr Dayan Krishnan, Ld. Senior Counsel,; Mr. Simranjeet Singh, Partner-Athena Legal,; Mr. Aadhar Nautiyal, Associate-Athena Legal along with Mr Sanjeevi Seshadri, Advocate represented the Plaintiff Mr Daniel Snyder.
Note: BW Legal World is accepting nominations for Global Legal Summit and Legal Leaders Awards in various individual and practice categories. Let's celebrate excellence in law. Please visit the website to nominate now: http://bwevents.co.in/bw-legalworld/2020/