Tuesday, September 27, 2022

NFL team owner moves Delhi HC to place additional documents on record in case against India-based website

An application has been filed by plaintiff Daniel Snyder, through Advocates Simranjeet Singh and Rhea Dube, Athena Legal.

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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 to place on record certain additional documents in his case against the website meaww.com that had published defamatory articles against him.

An application has been filed by plaintiff Daniel Snyder, through Advocates Simranjeet Singh and Rhea Dube, Athena Legal. 

The plaintiff has contended that post the filing of the present suit against the defendants, the plaintiff has also initiated discovery proceedings before the United States District Court, District of Maryland against non-party Moag & Co., with the sole purpose to bring on record from Moag & Co. any material available in the United States which may have a bearing on the present suit pending adjudication before the Delhi High Court. Further, the said process is an on-going action and in view of the same certain new documents have been discovered in the said proceedings which consist of emails and text messages.”

The application further contended that all these documents make it amply clear that Snyder has been the subject of substantial negative publicity at the hands of certain individuals who have orchestrated articles and news in a malafide manner to negatively affect his reputation as well as that of the Washington Football Team.

Therefore, the applicant has prayed to allow the present application and take on record the additional documents annexed with the Application documents 2 & 3 respectively. (Read application at the end of this article)

Previously, he had filed an application seeking prosecution for contempt against the website meaww.com that had published defamatory articles against him.

Snyder had 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 had 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 last year directed news website meaww.com to take down and block its defamatory articles against Snyder, who had filed a suit 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.

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. 

Read the application here;


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