YouTube Takes Down Video ‘Defaming’ Patanjali Products After Baba Ramdev Sues Them in Delhi HC
March 5, 2019
The YouTube removed a video which allegedly defamed Patanjali Products and Baba Ramdev, as Delhi High Court observed that the video is extremely offending in nature.
Patanjali Ayurved Limited and Swami Ramdev through his Power of Attorney holder had approached the High Court alleging that it came across a video uploaded by some unknown person who made several defamatory, disparaging and threatening statements against Patanjali Products. They had also sought an injunction against Google, YouTube and Facebook.
While issuing notice to Google, YouTube and Facebook, the High Court had observed that the video is extremely offending in nature and explicit language that is used in the video is not just defamatory and deprecating but also constitute a threat to Baba Ramdev.
When the matter was again taken up last week, the counsel for Google and YouTube informed the court that they have come to the conclusion that the video is contrary to YouTube's policies and thus have removed it.
Justice Prathiba M. Singh, viewed the video and opined that it uses extremely explicit language and is not just defamatory and derogatory towards Baba Ramdev but also threatening, constitutes intimidation and seeks to encourage unknown people to harass him and Patanjali Ayurved Ltd. The video clearly is in violation of law, and also violative of the above guidelines which Google and Youtube have prescribed for themselves, the court added.
The court also directed Facebook to ensure that the links to the said video links are no longer made available on its platform. The bench further said:
"If there are any further instances of the same video being uploaded, which come to the knowledge of the Plaintiffs, in view of the above findings of the Court, the Plaintiffs are permitted to intimate the Defendants and the shall take down the video within 48 hours. Having heard the submissions of the parties and in view of the stand taken by Google and YouTube, since the video itself has now stated to have been taken down not just on the India domain but from all the international platforms of Google and YouTube no further orders are required to be passed in the present suit."
The question as to whether platforms such as Google, Facebook can be directed to remove, block or disable content on the international domain and not merely on the India domain has been left open by the Court to be adjudicated in an appropriate case.
Read the order here.
First published in Live Law.
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