The Delhi High Court on Wednesday ordered the concerned authorities to take all permissible steps to ensure that the further sharing, distribution, forwarding, or posting of an offending video of a district judge is restrained forthwith.
A video allegedly showing the judicial officer in a compromising position with staff in his chamber had gone viral on social media platforms.
“The defendants shall take all permissible steps to ensure that the further sharing, distribution, forwarding, or posting of the offending video is restrained forthwith. Defendant No.5 (Union) will also ensure that all further steps as are warranted in terms of the communication of the Registrar General dated 29 November 2022 are taken and a compliance report submitted in these proceedings,” Justice Yashwant Varma observed.
The single-judge bench made the observation, keeping in mind the sexually explicit nature of the video’s contents and the imminent, grave, and irreparable harm that is likely to be caused to the plaintiff’s privacy rights.
The court was hearing a suit seeking a permanent injunction prohibiting the defendants, their associates, sister companies, agents, and others from publishing/re-publishing/telecasting, in any way, the purported video of March 9, 2022, that has been circulating on various social media platforms and web portals since November 29.
The suit had been taken on urgent mentioning and in light of the imminent and irreparable harm that is likely to be caused to the plaintiff.
On examining the content of the complaint, the court stated that Section 354C of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, as well as Section 67A of the Information and Technology Act, 2000, appear to be violated if further circulation, sharing, and distribution of the video is permitted.
Additionally, the HC noted that the full court itself had taken administrative cognisance of the incident, and in accordance with the resolution passed on November 29, the registrar general of the court has conveyed to defendant no. 5 (Union) the need to take appropriate action for blocking the said video across all ISPs, messaging platforms, and social media platforms.
The court will hear the matter further on December 9.
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