BREAKING: Delhi High Court orders Twitter to take down defamatory tweets by Audrey Truschke against Vikram Sampath within 48 hours

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The Delhi High Court on Thursday ordered Twitter to take down tweets published by Audrey Truschke on the microblogging website against Indian Historian Vikram Sampath within 48 hours. The Court has further restrained the defendant(s) from posting the letter dated February 15, 2022 addressed to the Royal Historical Society, London and an email addressed to Margaret Barrett and Robert Davidson alleging "potential plagiarism" anywhere on social media & public domain, including on platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, others.

A bench of Justice Amit Bansal said that Sampath's lawyer, Advocate Raghav Awasthi had already made out a prima facie case in his favour and that there was no reason not to order take down of the said tweets or restraining defendant(s) Audrey Truschke from posting any further defamatory content against the Indian Historian.

Senior Advocate Sajan Poovayya who appeared for Twitter informed Court that the social media giant will not come in the way of any order of the Court.

When the case began, Advocate Awasthi informed Court that the subsequent tweets which were posted and the letter(s) which were brought in public domain after the passing of ad interim injunction order against the defendant "are an attack on the authority of this Court".

When Advocate Jawahar Raja who appeared for one of the defendants, Ananya Chakrabarti stated that the Indian Historian had to be put under scrutiny, the Court said,

"Vikram has made a prime Facie case! You are not even Dr. Audrey's lawyer! Why do you want to argue this at all? It doesn't even directly affect you! This puts apprehensions in our mind! You want to sensationalise!"

During the arguments, Awasthi read out contents of the letter which were written by Truschke, Rohit Chopra and Ananya Chakrabarti and were also posted in public domain by Truschke on her twitter handle.

He said, "In this letter, they have made baseless allegations (again) and have also referenced 'The Wire'. We all know what The Wire is. It has Sharjeel Imam, a terrorist as one of its columnists".

On February 17, the Delhi High Court had restrained the defendants from posting defamatory content against the Indian Historian. It says,

 "A case for ad-interim injunction is made by Vikram Sampath and if relief is not granted substantial irreparable damage will be caused to the plaintiff and his reputation."

The Court had further gone on to restrain defendants from publishing any defamatory material online or offline against Sampath.

The plea filed through Adv. Mukesh Sharma, was argued by Adv. Raghav Awasthi on behalf of Sampath.

The suit states that historian Audrey Truschke and other persons namely Ananya Chakravarti and Rohit Chopra vide their letter dated February 11 to the Royal Historical Society in London had levelled serious allegations of plagiarism against Sampath, allegedly falsely stating that an essay written by Sampath for a Journal had plagiarized content from an essay written by one Vinayak Chaturvedi. 

Sampath has submitted that the allegation is absurd inasmuch as a perusal of the article in question would "establish beyond all reasonable doubt that Mr. Vinayak Chaturvedi has been cited," the suit read.

Accordingly, the suit sought for a decree of to cease the publication of the letter or any other defamatory material.

The suit also sought damage of Rs. 2 crores from the said defendants.

Cause Title: Dr. Vikram Sampath vs Dr. Audrey Trushchke & Ors.