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NFL team owner moves Delhi High Court to prosecute India-based website for contempt

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An application has been filed before the Delhi High Court by the owner of NFL’s Washington Football Team, Daniel Snyder seeking prosecution for contempt against the website meaww.com that had published defamatory articles against him.

Snyder has urged the court to issue directions asking the website to release the information with respect to the persons who had uploaded the impugned articles/posts on the platform and disclose the sources from where the information forming part of the impugned articles/posts has been procured by the defendants.

According to the Plaintiff, he has gained preliminary knowledge that the defendants are acting in collusion and connivance with certain entities that solicit clients on social media by promoting the services of the defendants, and the defendants place stories on its website in exchange for monetary benefits. They have therefore  adopted the said mode of operation in the instant case, by floating the impugned articles on the internet with a view to malign and tarnish the reputation and image of the Plaintiff across the globe.

The Delhi High Court had earlier this year directed news website meaww.com to take down and block its defamatory articles against the owner of NFL’s Washington Football Team, Daniel Snyder.Snyder had filed a suit against the website for damages of Rs 75 crore. According to Snyder, the articles levelled allegations of sex trafficking against him and were false, frivolous, defamatory and malicious. The articles were free in the public domain and could cause serious harm to his reputation by lowering his image in the eyes of the public.

The plaintiff had also submitted that even after asking the website to take the articles down, no action was taken, following which he urged the Court to pass an order of ad-interim injunction to remove these defamatory articles from all media platforms and websites.

The Delhi High Court had observed that a prima facie case was made out against the defendants, including the website, its directors and journalists, and if no ad interim injunction was granted, the plaintiff would suffer an irreparable loss.

Also Read: Delhi HC directs Centre and State to consider PIL as representation for betterment of mechanism used for issuing challans for vehicles

The Court observed that the balance of convenience was in favour of the plaintiff and had directed the website to take down, remove and block/restrict the allegedly defamatory articles. The website had also got an order to not report any news on the same or similar subject matters.  The Court had also directed the website to disclose the basic subscription information about the persons who had uploaded the allegedly defamatory articles on its platform. 

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