Articles involving sexual exploitation of nuns, Hindu women: Delhi HC asks RSS-linked magazines to remove ittext_fields
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has directed the organizers of the RSS-linked magazine "Organiser" and the website "The Commune" to remove articles that allegedly contained defamatory content against the principal of a Christian management-run school in Delhi. The court's order came on August 16, following an interim hearing before Justice Jyoti Singh.
The court's decision stemmed from an article published by the defendants on June 9 and June 10, which made allegations of sexual intimacy and exploitation involving nuns and Hindu women associated with the church against the school principal.
Justice Singh, in her ruling, expressed concern over the reckless manner in which the article was published without factual verification, tarnishing the image and reputation of the plaintiff.
The plaintiff, a respected figure in the field of education, runs an unaided recognized minority school affiliated with the Central Board of Secondary Education. He is also associated with the management committees of several other esteemed schools in the city.
The plaintiff argued that the defendants aimed to malign his reputation by disseminating baseless and obscene allegations against him. He vehemently denied any involvement in the alleged activities and claimed that the article was a deliberate attempt to harm his reputation and hinder his potential elevation to a higher position.
Justice Singh emphasized that while the right to freedom of speech and expression is a fundamental right under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution, it must be balanced with the right to reputation, which is also recognized as a fundamental right under Article 21.
The court acknowledged that defamation falls within the restrictions outlined in Article 19(2), thereby underscoring the limitations of unfettered free speech when it infringes upon an individual's reputation.
The court's ruling came in response to the plaintiff's application for interim relief, in which he sought an ex parte ad-interim injunction against the defendants, compelling them to remove the defamatory article from their platforms.
The court granted the injunction, stating that irreparable harm could be caused to the plaintiff's reputation if the article continued to be accessible to the public through the defendants' websites.
The defendants have been summoned to file their written statements within 30 days as part of the plaintiff's main lawsuit. Despite legal notices sent to the defendants on August 3 and 4, the articles in question have not been removed from their websites, according to the plaintiff's claims.