A John-Doe order has been passed by the Bombay City Civil Court with respect to restraining defamatory allegations from known and unknown persons. This restriction covered posts and online videos as well. Recently, various news and social media posts have alleged that he was involved in the ongoing cases of the demise of Disha Salian and Sushant Singh Rajput
With respect to these allegations, the Mumbai based actor-producer Arbaaz Khan filed a Defamation Suit against all these known as well unknown social media users including Media Professional Sakshi Bhandari and Advocate Vibhor Anand He filed this case before the Greater Mumbai City Civil & Sessions Court for defamation by the Defendant Nos. 1 to 3 through their social media, which were run and controlled by the Defendant No.s 4 to 11.
Advocate Pradeep Gandhy was the counsel for the petitioner and was instructed by the DSK Legal team comprising of Mr. Anand Desai, Managing Partner; Ms. Chandrima Mitra, Partner; Mr. Parag Khandhar, Associate Partner and Ms. Ashwini Hariharan, Senior Associate. The defendants impleaded were :
- Defendant No.1- Ashok Kumar/ John Doe
- Defendant No.2- Vibhor Anand
- Defendant No.3- Sakshi Bhandari
- Defendant No.4- Facebook Inc
- Defendant No.5- Facebook India Online Services Pvt. Ltd.
- Defendant N. 6- Twitter Inc.
- Defendant No.7- Twitter Communications India Private Limited
- Defendant No.8- Twitter International Company
- Defendant No.9- YouTube LLC
- Defendant No. 10- Google LLC
- Defendant No. 11- Google India Pvt. Ltd.
The defamatory content included posts, videos, tweets, etc that the plaintiff was arrested and/or taken into unofficial custody of CBI, that he was involved in the gangrape of some alleged minor girl, and that he was involved in killing Sushant Singh Rajput, Disha Salian, and some alleged minor girl. The plaintiff’s counsel contended that the plaintiff approached the court to seek a perpetual injunction in the suit and temporary injunction against the defendants. This injunction sought by the plaintiff should restrain the defendants from publishing defamatory content on social media while the suit was pending. It was also submitted that the Bollywood Actor-producer, i.e. the plaintiff was of reputable stature and a famous celebrity. The counsel for the plaintiff further submitted that the nature of the submitted defamatory statements was rather grave. If any reasonable person believed these statements, his client’s reputation would be damaged severely. It was also highlighted that a complaint has also been filed by the plaintiff with Dy. Commissioner of Police, Cyber Crime, Cyber Cell, Mumbai under Section 499 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 which defines defamation. A notice has been served to defendants no. 6 to 100 under Section 79 (3) (b) of the Information Technology Act, 2000 which reads, “upon receiving actual knowledge, or on being notified by the appropriate Government or its agency that any information, data or communication link residing in or connected to a computer resource, controlled by the intermediary is being used to commit the unlawful act, the intermediary fails to expeditiously remove or disable access to that material on that resource without vitiating the evidence in any manner.” In the court’s interim order, the court opined, “Pending the hearing and final disposal of this Suit, Defendant Nos.1 to 3 be ordered and directed to forthwith withdraw and/or re-call and/or take down the all the Defamatory Content including but not limited to the content described in Exhibit 'A' to the Plaint and any other and further defamatory content which is published directly or indirectly by any of them as also all and any other posts, messages, tweets, videos, interviews, communications and correspondence similar to the Defamatory Content in relation to the Plaintiff and/or members of the Plaintiff's family on all public domains and social media platforms including but not limited to the ones run and operated by the Defendant Nos. 4 - 11 and/or from all other mediums where the same or any of them are hosted or exist.” The matter will be heard on October 12, 2020 [READ ORDER]