HC restrains circulation of ‘sexually explicit’ video of judicial officer

Justice Yashwant Varma in a late-night order allowed a prayer to "conceal" the identity of the aggrieved party, and said an ad interim ex-parte injunction was warranted as the circulation of the video was in violation of several laws

Delhi High Court

The Delhi High Court has put curbs on the sharing and posting of a “sexually explicit” video of a judicial officer and a woman that surfaced on November 29 and was circulated on social media platforms, saying its circulation would cause irreparable harm to the privacy rights of the plaintiff.

Justice Yashwant Varma in a late-night order allowed a prayer to “conceal” the identity of the aggrieved party, and said an ad interim ex-parte injunction was warranted as the circulation of the video was in violation of several laws.

The judge said that the high court has itself taken cognisance of the incident on its administrative side, and pursuant to a resolution, its registrar general has conveyed to authorities the need to take appropriate action for blocking the video over all messaging and social media platforms as well as through internet service providers (ISPs).

“Bearing in mind the sexually explicit nature of the contents of that video and taking into consideration the imminent, grave and irreparable harm that is likely to be caused to the privacy rights of the plaintiff an ad interim ex parte injunction is clearly warranted,” the court said.

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The court warned that the video if circulated amongst parties and users of the services provided by the defendant number 1 to 4 (social media platforms), would violate the legally acceptable terms of use as adopted by the defendants.

The Centre was also directed to take all steps as warranted in terms of the communication of the registrar general are taken and a compliance report is submitted in these proceedings.

The order was passed on a lawsuit by one of the persons in the video and it sought a permanent injunction restraining publication and telecast of the “purported video dated March 9, 2022.

The plaintiff was represented by lawyers Ashish Dixit, Amit Sharma and Vandana Sachdeva. The lawsuit was taken up for hearing on “urgent mentioning and in light of the imminent and irreparable harm that is likely to be caused to the plaintiff”. The court issued notices to the Centre and social media platforms on the lawsuit and listed the case for further hearing on December 9.

(With inputs from agencies)

 

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