Smriti Irani's Daughter Neither Licensee Nor Owners Of Goa Restaurant, Slanderd With Malicious Intent To Garner Viewership: Delhi HC
The Delhi High Court has prima facie found that Smriti Irani nor her daughter is either the licensee or owner of the restaurant in Goa. The Court has also found that the show cause notice issued by the Goa government is not in the name of Smriti Irani or her daughter.
The Delhi High Court has passed an ad-interim injunction directing Congress leaders Jairam Ramesh, Pawan Khera and Netta D'Souza to delete the allegations, video of the impugned Press Conference and the contents linked to the same from all the social media platforms.
Justice Mini Pushkarna has also directed social media intermediaries "to remove the allegations, videos, posts, tweets, re-tweets, captions, taglines along with the morphed pictures of the plaintiff and her daughter along with the underlined material with such defamatory content or anything similar thereto including recirculation on their respective platforms".
Senior Advocates Rajiv Nayar, Neeraj K. Kaul, and Pinky Anand appeared for Smriti Irani while Senior Advocate Dayan Krishnan appeared for Twitter.
The order was passed on Friday in the defamation Suit filed by Smriti Irani against the Congress Leaders for the allegations raised against her daughter in a press conference and on social media. The order was made available today.
"I am of prima facie view that slanderous and libellous allegations have been made against the plaintiff without verifying the actual facts. Great injury has been caused to the reputation of the plaintiff and her family in view of the various tweets and re-tweets which have followed the Press Conference carried out by the defendant Nos. 1, 2 & 3", the Court held.
The Court held that "I am of the considerate view that statements made by the defendant Nos. 1, 2, & 3 are in the nature of slander and seem to be bogus with malicious intent, only to garner highest amount of viewership thereby intentionally subjecting the plaintiff to a great public ridicule" while noting that despite legal notice issued on behalf of the plaintiff, the defendants neither replied to it nor produced any documents in support of their allegations.
"Considering the documents on record it is clearly seen that there was no license which was ever issued in favour of the plaintiff or her daughter. The plaintiff or her daughter are not the owners of the restaurant. It has also been established by the plaintiff prima facie that the plaintiff or her daughter never applied for license. Neither the restaurant nor the land on which the restaurant exists is owned by the plaintiff or her daughter even the show cause notice issued by the Government of Goa is not in the name of the plaintiff or her daughter. All these facts have also been affirmed in affidavit by the plaintiff", the Court held.
The Congress leader had in a press conference held on July 23, accused the daughter of Smriti Irani of running a restaurant and bar in North Goa illegally with a license which was fraudulently procured. They had demanded that Prime Minister should sack Smriti Irani. Smriti Irani had in a press conference called these allegations malicious and said that she is being targetted for standing up against the Gandhi family.