Take Down ‘Defamatory’ Video Against Covishield, Adar Poonawalla: High Court

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has directed two individuals to take down a prima facie ‘defamatory’ video that was posted against Covishield and Serum Institute of India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawalla.

Yohan Tengra of Anarchy for Freedom India and Ambar Koiri of Awaken India Movement had allegedly posted erroneous content against SII and its COVID-19 vaccine, Covishield.

SII had moved the high court and filed a defamation suit against the duo.

“Yohan Tengra and Ambar Koiri were creating and posting several defamatory contents against SII and its CEO Adar Poonawalla on their YouTube channel. The accused were attempting to create hatred in the minds of the people and were inciting public violence against SII and its CEO Adar Poonawalla,” argued Aspi Chinoy, who was representing SII before the Bombay HC.

Justice RI Chagla, while disposing of the petition filed by SII and Poonawalla, said: “I am of the prima facie view that the contents are in fact per se defamatory in that there is no justification provided by the defendants for making and posting such contents.”

In an interim relief to SII and its CEO, the court ordered the Tengra and Koiri to take down the content from their YouTube channels.

However, the high court restricted its judgement on the defamation suit and refused to comment on the merits and demerits of the vaccine.

Nilesh Ojha, lawyer of the defendants, said, “We will appeal against the order. Videos will not be deleted. Another matter related to this case is still lying before the high court.”

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