HC notice to YouTube channels, social media handles on BJP leader Bhatia’s defamation plea

Lord Shiva doesn't need anyone's protection, says HC on plea against demolition of unauthorised temple
Lord Shiva doesn't need anyone's protection, says HC on plea against demolition of unauthorised temple

NEW DELHI, Apr 5 : The Delhi High Court on Friday issued notices to several YouTube channels and social media handles on a plea filed by senior advocate Gaurav Bhatia for allegedly making defamatory statements against him in relation to an incident at a Noida court where he was manhandled.

Justice Neena Bansal Krishna refused to pass an ex-parte order without hearing the other parties in the matter.

The high court issued the notices to 13 defendant YouTube channels and X handles on the application for interim relief to take down the offending content. It also issued summons on the defamation suit and listed the matter for hearing on April 8.

It issued notices also to X (formerly Twitter) and Google.

During the hearing, the high court said something very unfortunate has happened. The Supreme Court has been equally sensitive and has taken cognisance of the incident, it added.

Bhatia, represented through advocates Raghav Awasthi and Mukesh Sharma, sought the direction to the 13 defendants to pay damages of over Rs 2 crore for allegedly making defamatory statements against him using X and YouTube platforms.

He also sought a permanent injunction against the defendants by restraining them from publishing any defamatory allegations against Bhatia.

His lawyers contended that the videos are making baseless allegations despite the fact that the true events are recorded in the order of the Supreme Court which took suo motu cognisance of the incident.

They also said one of the videos justified the violence and has the potential to promote physical violence against the lawyer.

Awasthi said some of the videos allege that Bhatia had gone to Noida court to represent influencer Elvish Yadav, but that insinuation is completely untrue.

Bhatia is also a BJP national spokesperson.

On March 21, the apex court took note of the alleged manhandling of Bhatia in the Gautam Buddh Nagar district court on March 20. It had directed the concerned district judge to ensure that the CCTV footage of the incident is in safe custody, pending further orders. It also ordered that a report be submitted on the incident.

The top court had said a strike by the members of the bar affected the litigants who are vital stakeholders in the justice system. The Supreme Court Bar Association had also condemned the misconduct of a lawyer in the district court against Bhatia. (PTI)