Delhi HC Restrains “APN Live” From Airing Defamatory Content Against “Patanjali” & Directs Facebook and Youtube To Take Down URLs
Patanjali Ayurveda Ltd. vs. Sobhagya Media Pvt. Ltd. (APN LIVE) 
Patanjali Ayurveda Ltd. —- Plaintiff
Sobhagya Media Pvt. Ltd. (APN LIVE) — Defendant no.1
Facebook, Whatsapp & Youtube — Defendant no. 2 to 4
CORAM: HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE V. KAMESWAR RAO
- There was allegation against the Plaintiff (Patanjali) that they are illegally engaged in selling / exporting of Red-Sander Wood ( लाल चंदन). But as per Custom Assessment Order dated 16th September 2019 the Additional Commissioner dropped all proceedings against the plaintiffs with regard to Red Sanders seized that were being exported to China and allowed Patanjali to export the same.
- Later, the plaintiffs came to know about the airing / telecasting / broadcasting / uploading / sharing / dissemination / publication of false, malicious, misleading and defamatory material on the news channel / portals of the defendants.
- The defamatory publications included grave allegations against the plaintiffs insinuating that the plaintiff No. 1 has illegally sold off Red-Sander Wood against the interests of the country.
- Mr. Wadha appearing for the Plaintiff also states that under Rule 3(2)(b) of the Information Technology (Intermediaries) Guidelines Rules, 2011, the defendant Nos. 2 to 4 as intermediaries are obligated to observe certain due diligence while discharging their duties, regrettably it is evident that the defendants have disregarded the Rule of Law and have left no stone unturned to vilify, malign and denigrate the name, image, reputation and good will of the plaintiffs in the eyes of the general public. Also, while demanding for the injunction against the URL publication at the global level Mr. Wadwa referred the case Swami Ramdev & Anr. vs. Facebook, Inc. & Ors., in which court said this Court can grant injunction at the global level provided, the material has been uploaded from India.
- Mr. Wadhwa appearing said that the news being still freely available in the public domain and is creating false aspersions against the reputation of the plaintiffs. the defendants clearly violate the plaintiffs’ rights under the Constitution and hence defendants must be restrained from airing/ publishing / televising or propagating on their platforms.
Delhi High Court Decision:
1. The Court said that the plaintiffs have made out a prima-facie case and therefore, the APN LIVE is temporary restrained from in any manner airing / publishing / televising or propagating on their websites / webpages / channels which are misleading and/ or defamatory or which lowers the goodwill and reputation of the plaintiffs in the eyes of the general public.
2. Also, the Court directed Facebook and Youtube shall block the URLs which contain defamatory video against the Plaintiff (Patanjali Ayurveda).
1. IA 4093/2020 Delhi HC
2. SCC OnLine Del 10701