The Delhi High Court on Tuesday restrained the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and several of its leaders from levelling “false” allegations against Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena, and directed them to take down the alleged libelous posts, videos and tweets against him on social media.
Justice Amit Bansal, while pronouncing the order on interim relief, said, “I have passed an ad-interim injunction order in favour of the plaintiff and a takedown order.” The detailed order is awaited.
Saxena has sought to injunct AAP, its leaders Atishi Singh, Saurabh Bharadwaj, Durgesh Pathak, Sanjay Singh, and Jasmine Shah, who was appointed by the Government of NCT of Delhi as Vice Chairperson of the Dialogue and Development Commission, to delete or take down the alleged false and libelous posts or tweets or videos circulated and issued on social media against him and his family.
He has also sought damages and compensation of Rs 2.5 crore along with interest from the political party and its five leaders.
The AAP leaders had alleged that Saxena had received and channelised demonetised currency in November 2016 while acting as chairman of the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC). The party had alleged that Saxena was involved in a Rs 1,400 crore scam.
Earlier, Saxenas counsel had urged the high court to direct Twitter and YouTube (Google Inc) to take down or remove the tweets, re-tweets, posts, videos, captions, taglines along with pictures of the plaintiff (Saxena) and his family members on their respective platforms.
The counsel for the AAP and its leaders had argued that one of the statements was that during Saxenas tenure as KVIC Chairman, his daughter was given a contract of Khadi which was against the rules.
The counsel had said it was a statement of fact and no one has denied it.
Saxenas counsel had said it is a matter of fact that his daughter had assisted in designing the Khadi lounge on a pro bono basis and not a single penny was taken by her for her services.
To this, the judge had observed that “when no money was taken then how it amounts to corruption.” Saxena has submitted in his defamation suit that AAP and its leaders have built their entire vilification campaign on the purported allegations and statements of two accused persons of KVIC who have been charge-sheeted in connection with the exchange of demonetised currency notes case.
It has said that as per the CBI FIR, the amount in question was just Rs 17 lakh but the defendants created a “fanciful” sum of Rs 1,400 crore based on some obtuse mathematical calculations.
Saxenas counsel had contended that there was nothing to substantiate the allegations and even the documents were forged and fabricated and the content was based on hearsay.
He had urged the court to pass an interim order directing AAP and its leaders not to further publish derogatory statements against him and to remove the ones already published.
The lawyers for AAP and its leaders had contended that the court should not pass an interim injunction at this stage and it will be decided at the stage of trial whether there is any truth in the allegations made or not.
Saxena had earlier sent a legal notice to AAP and its leaders asking them to issue a press release directing all members of the party and all persons associated with it, whether directly or indirectly, to cease and desist from spreading and circulating false, defamatory, malicious and unsubstantiated statements.
The legal notice had also asked the AAP leaders to comply with the requisitions within 48 hours of its receipt.
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