Plagiarism row: HC restrains US historian from publishing defamatory content against Vikram Sampath

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The Delhi High Court on Friday in an interim order, restrained American historian Audrey Truschke and others from publishing defamatory material against Historian and V.D. Savarkar’s biographer, Vikram Sampath till April 1 on Twitter and other online or offline platforms.

Justice Amit Bansal was hearing a suit filed by Sampath against Truschke and others over a letter sent by them to Royal Historical Society raising allegations of plagiarism against Sampath with respect to a journal publication and his two-volume biography of Savarkar and some alleged defamatory tweets made concerning with it.

“In my view, a prima facie case is made. The continued publication of the letter has been causing considerable damage to the plaintiff’s reputation and career. Balance of convenience is also in his favour and irreparable damage will be caused if the injunction is not granted. Consequently, till the next date of hearing, the defendants are restrained from publishing the letter or any other defamatory material on Twitter as well as any other online or offline platforms,” said the Judge in the order.

The court has not passed any interim order against Twitter and further hearing in the matter will take place on April 1.

In the plea, Sampath sought Rs 2 crore in damages from the three historians who have accused him of plagiarism.

Tech journalist Abhishek Baxi, Professor Ashok Swain, Twitter and the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology are the other respondents in the plea.

Sampath’s plea contends that charges against him fall completely flat and is clearly libelous and the same is being done as part of an international smear campaign in order to discredit him because he has shown the academic courage and gumption to challenge the prevailing narrative around a historical figure like Savarkar.

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