Defamatory Content: HC directs activist to delete tweets against minister Puri’s wife (Ld)

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday directed activist Saket Gokhale to pull down his “defamatory” tweets alleging former United Nations Assistant Secretary General Lakshmi Puri, wife of Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri, had purchased certain property in Switzerland disproportionate to her income.

Justice C. Hari Shankar made it clear if Gokhale, fails to delete the tweets, then Twitter is directed to take down those URLs. The court has also barred him from posting any defamatory content against Puri and her husband on any platform. Puri had filed the suit against Gokhale. She moved the high court through law firm Karanjawala & Co. claiming that the tweets were defamatory, malicious and based on false information.

The court issued summons in the main suit, asking Gokhale to file a reply within four weeks. The court has listed the matter for further hearing on September 10, before the registrar (judicial).

The court had noted during the hearing whether any Tom, Dick and Harry could write anything defamatory content against anyone on the Internet to damage his or her reputation. Senior advocate Maninder Singh, representing Lakshmi Puri, told the High Court that Gokhale “has no decency.” “We serve the government for more than 30 years and this is what we get,” Singh had submitted.

Gokhale’s counsel had replied in negative, when court asked if his client was willing to remove tweets.

The order was passed in the defamation suit filed by Puri, where she sought damages to the tune of Rs 5 crore, besides an order to take down the tweets.