WhiteHat Jr Secures Relief Against Another Individual It Accused Of Defamation
The Delhi High Court directed angel investor Aniruddha Malpani to refrain from posting any derogatory tweets against WhiteHat Jr and issued summons on the defamation suit against him. Earlier this week, the high court had passed a similar order against Pradeep Poonia who is also facing trademark infringement and defamation allegations by WhiteHat Jr.
WhiteHat Jr has accused Malpani of posting comments against the company and has raised the issue of conflict as he has investments in companies that are in similar business. The edu-tech company said Malpani’s remarks were defamatory and cannot be viewed as fair criticism, while also accusing him of trademark infringement, and unfair competition.
The counsels for WhiteHat Jr argued that Malpani has used words such as cheater, pig and liar to describe the company which is per se defamatory. Appearing for WhiteHat Jr, Senior Advocate Neeraj Kishan Kaul argued that the company is not against free speech but the court needs to distinguish between fair criticism and malice. He read out certain posts by Malpani in court to justify the plea for a takedown of the objectionable tweets.
Malpani himself is an investor in few rival edu-tech companies and as such his commercial investments stand to be impacted as well, Kaul said.
Denying the defamation accusations, Malpani argued that his posts were within the limits of free speech. His counsels argued that WhiteHat Jr is presenting his posts out of context to show them as defamatory. They also accused the company of running false or misleading advertisements.
The high court noted that while there is no instance of a trademark infringement in Malpani’s case, he does need to take down certain tweets before the case is finally decided. Justice Gupta has asked the parties to file their replies and posted the matter for hearing on January 14, 2020.