Tuesday, August 11, 2020
Home News Reports Delhi HC lifts gag order against media and victims in #MeToo sexual harassment cases...

Delhi HC lifts gag order against media and victims in #MeToo sexual harassment cases against Newslaundry investor Mahesh Murthy

Mahesh Murthy, who claims to be a venture capitalist and also an investor in far-left website Newslaundry, had filed a defamation suit against 18 media organisations for covering the allegation of sexual harassment against him.

In a huge setback to Newslaundry investor Mahesh Murthy, the Delhi High Court has vacated its interim order of April 2017 restraining media outlets publishing allegations of sexual harassment made against him by several victim women. The court also lifted the gag order imposed on victims from narrating their stories.

According to the reports, a single-judge bench presided by Justice Jayanth Nath passed the order on Monday stating, “The facts show that as per defendants No 1, 2, 15 and 16 (the four victims), they have had an unpleasant or perhaps more than unpleasant experience with the plaintiff. These facts, the said defendants… seek to place in the public domain.”

Mahesh Murthy, who claims to be a venture capitalist and also an investor in far-left website Newslaundry, had filed a defamation suit against 18 media organisations for covering the allegation of sexual harassment against him.

The defamation suits were filed against Rashmi Bansal, Pooja Chauhan and Meera (name changed), who had called out his inappropriate behaviour. Few journalists and executives at publications such as Deccan Chronicle, YourStory, and SheThePeople were also named in Mahesh Murthy’s suit.

- Advertisement -

Delhi High Court Justice Jayant Nath further observed that prima facie, it cannot be said that the said defendants have no case whatsoever or are misusing freedom of speech to tarnish/ defame the plaintiff.

The Delhi court also rejected Murthy’s contention that two victims were disgruntled and had malafide intentions, as Murthy had refused to invest in their ventures. The court also observed that Murthy’s plea was ‘bit of a hotchpotch’ as he had connected all the unconnected incidents/ events into one and sought relief against all of them in one case itself.

The alleged molester Murthy had claimed that the victims, websites and media houses had published content in a ‘sensational manner which misleads a common man reading the same to draw a conclusion that he is in the habit of exploiting and harassing young women entrepreneurs’. He had made the victims of his alleged crimes and media houses and journalists who had reported the allegations against him as defendants in the case, clubbing them all in one category. Murthy had even filed the case against two of his partners.

“The said defendants have a right to exercise their right of freedom of speech. If these incidents and claims of the said defendants are in trial proved to be false, the plaintiff would have a right to claim damages,” the court said in its order.

Rights activist and lawyer Deepika Bharadwaj has welcomed the order. She has stated that she and 18 other defendants were stopped from speaking about Murthy’s misdemeanour by the gag order.

Sexual harassment charges against Mahesh Murthy

In 2017, several media organisation including OpIndia had reported allegations of sexual harassment against News Laundry funder Murthy made by six women — three of who went on record with their experience. The accounts of the harassment had happened in the past from 2003 to 2016.

Pankaj Mishra, founder of technology website FactorDaily, in a series of tweets, had accused venture capitalist Mahesh Murthy who is also an investor in the Left-leaning self-proclaimed ‘media watchdog‘, Newslaundry.

The reports which highlighted sexual misconduct of Murthy stated that an author named Rashmi Bansal and a woman journalist had accused Murthy of inappropriate behaviour, ranging from inappropriate electronic messages to verbal advances to physical grabbing. Murthy had also allegedly sent an inappropriate message, “Hey babe, one’s supposed to celebrate Diwali by blowing a pataka. So can I go down on you please? :-)” to a woman government officer in Delhi.

The report had stated that many people knew of Murthy’s alleged misbehaviour, but no one has taken a stand against him except an IT giant.

A woman executive was allegedly asked “Are you a virgin” by Murthy back in 2006, and then the company blacklisted Murthy’s digital media company, Pinstorm.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

Related Articles

Trending now

The international links of Indian Communists: How India’s communists betrayed the nation

The Communist Party of India is one of the most controversial political parties in the country. Founded in 1925, CPI is alleged to have been directly involved in several anti-national activities since its inception.

People who think govt control of temples will rid them of inter-jati conflict assume that a pro-Hindu govt will always be in power

Viewing it through the single lenses of govt control, though, does not do justice to the various other aspects of society within which these temples are situated

DU Professor Apoorvanand mastermind behind the Delhi riots conspiracy, says Delhi riots accused Gulfisha

DU Professor Apoorvanand had already warned the students that riots would ensue and asked them to be prepared with stones, bottles, acid, knives and dry chilli powder

After requesting CBI inquiry in Sushant Singh Rajput death case, Rhea Chakraborty objects to the same, invokes Bihar elections

Rhea Chakraborty insinuates that Sushant's death was being isolated and blown out of proportion in wake of elections in Bihar

Indians, how they get ‘secularism’ so horribly wrong and how the atmosphere changed after Islam and Christianity entered India

Indians are generally highly intelligent. Yet when it comes to secularism, most intellectuals, media and politicians get the concept wrong, so wrong that it looks as if Indians were purposely fed wrong information.

Meet Kanta Murti, the woman who guarded a manhole and saved hundreds of lives as heavy rains flooded Mumbai

Kanta Murti, a 50-year-old pavement dweller, was seen in a viral video guarding an open manhole for 7 hours in Mumbai’s Matunga

Recently Popular

Who really is Binod? Read how one Youtube comment triggered a bizarre meme fest

The name 'Binod', which has now become the talk of the town and trending on Twitter, originated from a YouTube channel 'Slayy Point'

Sushant Singh Rajput’s brother-in-law gives a befitting reply to toxic journalism of Shekhar Gupta’s portal

Sushant Singh Rajput's brother-in-law Vishal Kirti on Sunday slammed Shekhar Gupta and his portal for toxic journalism.

Reports claim Sushant Singh Rajput’s former manager Disha Salian’s post-mortem report says she was found nude after her death, Mumbai police deny the reports

According to the post-mortem report of Disha Salian, her body was found nude, which was not revealed by the police so far

Rhea Chakraborty leaks WhatsApp conversation to accuse that Sushant Singh Rajput considered his sister Priyanka as ‘pure evil’

Rhea Chakraborty tries to prove that Sushant Singh Rajput did not like his family, releases chat messages with him

Pakistan: Maulvi rapes child reading Quran in mosque in Sindh province, caught on CCTV

Muslim Cleric in Sindh province in Pakistan on the run after video of hem raping a child inside a mosque emerges, case registered

“Delete the video or there will be negative consequences,” Chinese embassy threatens India based strategic affairs portal over a critical video on Xi Jinping

Chinese authorities were irked with the portrayal of Xi Jinping in a 'negative light' by Indian portal 'Strat News Global run by Nitin A Gokhale

Naach na jaane aangan tedha: Now Shashi Tharoor refuses to accept Rahul Gandhi could lose one more poll

Shashi Tharoor quoted a Twitter poll with just 7,716 votes, ran by a Congress functionary, to claim Congress should be voted to power

Chhattisgarh: Masarsa teacher arrested for raping a 9 year old girl in Raipur

A Maulana, Mohammed Arshad Rehmani, has been arrested in Raipur, Chhattisgarh for the alleged rape of a minor.

Pilot flies back to home turf? After weeks of political drama, Sachin Pilot says Ashok Gehlot is his leader

Rebel Congress MLA Sachin Pilot has bent the knee before Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot and accepted him as his leader.

Rajasthan battles policemen suicides: 6 suicides in 2 months, most recent being that of constable Yogindra Singh

The series of last two months cases in Rajasthan where policemen died of suicide, started with SHO Vishnu Dutt Vishnoi's death

The international links of Indian Communists: How India’s communists betrayed the nation

The Communist Party of India is one of the most controversial political parties in the country. Founded in 1925, CPI is alleged to have been directly involved in several anti-national activities since its inception.

Controversy in Pakistan after actress Saba Qamar shoots song in a Mosque, officers sacked

Actors issue apology in Pakistan for shooting for a song in a Lahore mosque.

Supreme Court refuses to accept ‘regret’ of Prashant Bhushan for 2009 contempt case, says proceedings will go on

While Tejpal offered an apology for publishing the interview in 2009, Bhushan said that his allegations were not referring to the financial status of the judges or their families but the lack of propriety.

People who think govt control of temples will rid them of inter-jati conflict assume that a pro-Hindu govt will always be in power

Viewing it through the single lenses of govt control, though, does not do justice to the various other aspects of society within which these temples are situated

Shah Faesal steps down as president of political party he founded, could return to administrative services

Shah Faesal has stepped down as the president of the Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Movement (JKPM).

Connect with us

239,751FansLike
425,977FollowersFollow
294,000SubscribersSubscribe