Delhi HC asks journalist Saket Gokhale to immediately take down tweets on Lakshmi Puri

Delhi High Court. File  

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday directed freelance journalist Saket Gokhale to immediately take down all his alleged defamatory tweets related to Union Minister Hardeep Puri's wife and former Indian diplomat Lakshmi Puri.

Mr. Gokhale had in a series of tweets questioned how Ms. Puri could have bought a house for 1.6 million Swiss Franc in Geneva, Switzerland, in 2006 with her then income.

Justice C. Hari Shankar further restrained Mr. Gokhale from “posting any defamatory or scandalous or factually incorrect” tweets on his Twitter account against Ms. Puri and her husband.

In case Mr. Gokhale refused to take down his tweets within 24 hours, the High Court directed the micro-blogging site to take them down.

“All observations are prima facie meant for disposing of the prayer of the plaintiff for interim relief,” the High Court clarified.

Last week, Mr. Gohkale had declined to take down his tweets on being asked by the judge if he was willing to do so without the court passing any order.

The court's order came on a defamation suit filed by Ms. Puri who claimed Mr. Gohkale's tweets were “maliciously motivated, laced with canards and entail deliberate twisting of facts in order to cause reputational damage and irrevocable harm”.

She said, “in order to substantiate his allegations, defendant [Mr. Gokhale] has resorted to fudging and manipulation of the information related to sources of incomes of the Plaintiff [Ms. Puri] and her husband by selectively taking details from the affidavit filed by the Plaintiff's husband in 2018 for filing his nomination for Rajya Sabha and twisting it in a malafide manner for a wrong and per se defamatory presentation/interpretation”.

Ms. Puri said she served as the Director of the Trade Division of UNCTAD between 2002-2009. In 2005, she was paid in Swiss Francs of an amount equivalent to $212,149 per annum.

Subsequently, she served as the Assistant Secretary General (ASG) at the United Nations at New York from 2011 to 2018, where she was paid in U.S. dollars over $250,000.

She was on leave from 2002 to 2011 from the government of India.

She took voluntary retirement from the Indian Foreign Service in March 2011.

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Printable version | Sep 24, 2021 10:54:28 AM |

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