Delhi HC directs Congress leaders to delete posts amid a row over party allegations against Smriti Irani’s daughter
The Delhi High Court on Friday directed Congress leaders Jairam Ramesh, Pawan Khera and Netta D’Souza to remove and delete their posts on social media against Union Minister Smriti Irani and her daughter in connection with Silly Souls Cafe and Bar in Goa’s Assagao. The court also issued summons to the three Congress leaders.
After hearing Irani’s application for an interim injunction, Justice Mini Pushkarn said she was of the prima facie view that “outrageous allegations” were levelled against the Union minister without verifying the facts and that the tweets and retweets caused serious damage to his reputation got injured. This was followed by a press conference by Congress leaders on 23 July.
“They are also directed to remove the post, videos, tweets, retweets, and morphed pictures of the plaintiff and her daughter along with the allegations and stop their recirculation. If defendants 1 to 3 fails to comply with the directions within 24 hours of this order, defendants 4 to 6 [social media platforms] are directed to take down [the content],” Justice Pushkarna said in the interim order.
Irani sought a mandatory and permanent injunction against the Congress leaders in the suit filed through DSK Legal and removal of posts already made, besides seeking damages of over Rs 2 crore for posting the alleged defamation and false allegations.
In its press conference last week, Congress accused Irani’s daughter of “illegally” running a restaurant in Goa that “fraudulently” obtained a bar license in the name of a deceased person. Congress had also demanded Irani’s resignation from the Union Cabinet.
Irani’s trial alleges that the Congress leaders “conspired with each other and with unknown persons/organizations to launch a set of false, acrimonious and belligerent personal attacks against her and her daughter,” to malign, defame and injure their reputation”. Moral character and public image.
Stating that Irani and her daughter have never been running a “bar” in Goa, the suit states that they have not applied for any license to “walk” or operate “any bar” to date. Is. Both have not been served any show cause notices from the Excise Department of Goa to date.
“Despite being fully aware of the fact that the applicant and her daughter are neither owner(s) of the premises or said restaurant, nor have they applied for any licence concerning the said restaurant, defendants [Congress leaders] deliberately made various defamatory statements imputing the character of the applicant and her daughter going to the extent of maliciously peddling lies by stating that the applicant’s daughter is purportedly indulging in corrupt
practices and illegal activities under the patronage and knowledge of the applicant” reads the suit.
Following the press conference, the suit said, Congress leaders used platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to publish and circulate false, malicious and defamatory material against Irani, without such false information verified.
“ As a consequence of the said Press Conference, the Applicant has also been subjected to various other defamatory posts which are being published against her by people from various parts of the country on social media platforms after being influenced and misguided by the falsities peddled by [Congress leaders],” the suit alleged.
Responding to the court order, Jairam Ramesh tweeted: “Delhi High Court has issued a notice asking it to formally respond to the matter filed by Smriti Irani. We are eager to present the facts before the court. We will challenge and deny the spin being put by Ms. Irani.”