On 9th October 2020, Friday, the Delhi High Court was hearing a plaint filed by Air India (plaintiff) seeking leave to amend the memo of parties impleading Twitter Inc. and Facebook Inc as defendant No.2 and defendant No.3 respectively.
The case of the plaintiff was that “the defendant No.1 was employed by the plaintiff, however, due to various complaints, the number of enquires were initiated and finally his services were terminated in the year 2014. The defendant No.1 is continuously publishing and circulating false and malicious tweets and posts against the plaintiff and its officers in the social media links of the defendant No.2 and defendant No.3, that is, www.twitter.com and www.facebook.com respectively. The tweets and posts put up inter alia insinuate that the plaintiff company operates in a fraudulent manner; management of the company is fraudulent and incompetent; the plaintiff company putting at risk the lives of its crew and passengers and not adhering to the rules and regulations in relation to social distancing and other safety measures; the acts of plaintiff company are being illegally covered up in fraudulent manner and promotions and appointments done in an illegal manner; lack of proper management in plaintiff company and complacency as well as rampant corruption etc.”
The court observed that “A long list of tweets and posts of the defendant No.1 has been placed on record which shows that the defendant No.1 has prima facie made libelous insinuation not only against the plaintiff company but people associated with it.”
It further added that “ It prima facie appears that the tweets and posts, put up by the defendant No. 1 against the plaintiff is because of the action of the plaintiff towards the defendant No.1 with regard to a number of complaints and inquires and finally terminating the services in the year 2014.”
The court also stated that “the plaintiff has made out a prima facie case in its favor and in case no ex-parte ad-interim injunction is granted the plaintiff would suffer an irreparable loss. Balance of convenience also lies in favor of the plaintiff and against the defendant No.1.”
“Till the next date of hearing before this Court, defendant No.1 is restrained from in any manner directly or indirectly, publishing and/or commenting or communicating or issuing any video, tweet, article, interview containing or referring to the allegations as stated and similar to that is stated in pages 50-82 of the plaint”, it added.
Further, the court directed defendant no. 1 to withdraw its defamatory and unwarranted allegations made by him against the plaintiff company and its management in the posts uploaded within one week of the receipt of this order.