Vicious attacks can't be made on the character of someone under the guise of journalistic freedom and free speech, said HC
The Delhi tribunal has directed Mint newspaper to get rid of a commentary, within which it had allegedly made defamatory statements against YouTuber Gaurav Taneja.
On May 1, Taneja's tweet had led to lots of discussions and debates on social media. It said: “Hinduism may be a science based way of life. On 3 Dec 1984, two families remained unaffected from Bhopal gas leak. They performed regular (hawan), which may be a natural antidote to pollution.” Later, a Mint journalist retweeted this tagging some global brands and questioning their association with him.
On May 8, the article on Mint titled “Shouldn't brands stop supporting sordid influencers?”, made allegations of misogyny, abuse and pet abuse against Tanjeja, by bearing on his videos.
After hearing the submissions, in an exceedingly recent order, Justice Amit Bansal observed: “Piercing the ears of a lady child can't be termed as maltreatment. Allegations of kid abuse are serious allegations and can't be made without ordinary care and verification. It can't be supported the opinions of the author.
“Undoubtedly, an individual contains a right to criticise the views expressed by another individual and such criticism would be covered under right to free speech. However, vicious attacks can not be made on the character of an individual under the guise of journalistic freedom and free speech. In my clear view, there's nothing within the aforesaid videos to substantiate allegations of kid abuse.
“Consequently, an advertisement interim injunction is passed in favour of the plaintiffs and against the defendants,” the court said, directing Mint to require down the article from its online platform within every week.
The paper has been further restrained from posting, circulating or publishing the article or the other defamatory material in relation to the plaintiffs on any online or offline platforms, it added.