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Youtube Is A Private Company That Isn't Subject To Writ Jurisdiction: High Court Of Rajasthan

By Komal Kinger Komal Kinger      Mar 10, 2022      0 Comments      2,333 Views
Youtube Is A Private Company That Isn't Subject To Writ Jurisdiction:  High Court Of Rajasthan

A writ petition seeking numerous reliefs relating to online video sharing site YouTube was dismissed by the Rajasthan High Court on March 7, 2022 as non-maintainable.

In light of the public nature of the functions it performs, Hon'ble Justice Mr. Mahendar Kumar Goyal declined to accept the petitioner's argument that YouTube performs functions of a state.

The Hon’ble Justice said 

“In absence of any factual foundation to substantiate the submission that the respondent No.1 has deep and pervasive control over the affairs of the respondent No.2 or it discharges the public functions which are akin to the Government functions, this Court is not persuaded to accept the submission made by learned counsel for the petitioner”. 


Dharmender Kumar Sharma filed the current petition, asking the court to overturn You tube’s decision to remove his videos and, as a result, his channel's removal from the platform. He also went to Youtube for help in restoring his channel, which he had named and styled "Gurudev Siyag Sidh Yoga Free."

The plea stated that :

“That respondents are a state, hence squarely amenable to the writ jurisdiction of this Hon’ble Court. It is also evident from that facts mentioned supra that respondent no.2 follows an arbitrary and inconsistent application of content moderation policy. Rather, it seems it has established a parallel regime of speech regulation along with the state. Hence, respondent no.2 discharges the functions of a ‘state’ considering the public nature of the functions it performs”.


The Court noted that even though the Union of India was named as the first respondent in the case, the court emphasised that all of the reliefs are sought against YouTube, a limited liability company. Furthermore, there was not a single averment in the whole writ petition about the true nature of the company's functions.

Also , by relying on a Constitution Bench judgement of the Hon'ble Apex Court of India in the case of Ajay Hasia Vs. Khalid Mujib Sehravardi & Ors., [1]the petitioner argued that because the State has deep and pervasive control over the affairs of the respondent No.2, Youtube, and also because the respondent performs a public function that is closely related to the Government function, it is amenable to the writ jusrisdiction.

The Hon’ble Court observed  that 

“ A perusal of the prayer clause reveals that entire relief has been claimed against the respondent No.2, a limited liability company. Although, it has been submitted that it is amenable to the writ jurisdiction on account of the State having its deep and pervasive control over its affairs and also for the reason that it discharges the functions of public importance which are closely related to the Government functions; but, the writ petition is bereft of any such averment.”

The court further dismissed the petitioner's reliance on Aarti Tikoa Vs. Union of India[2] because the petitioner failed to disclose the facts of the case, the parties involved, and the controversy that arose.[3]

The Hon’ble High Court of Rajasthan held that 

“In view thereof, the order aforesaid is of no assistance to the petitioner. Therefore, the writ petition is dismissed being not maintainable against a private entity”

Case Title: Dharmender Kumar Sharma v. Union of India & Ors. 

Citation: S.B. Civil Writ Petition No. 487/2022

Counsel :Adv. Ashish Davessar appeared for the petitioner.

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