Acting on a petition filed by VD Savarkar biographer Vikram Sampath, the Delhi High Court on Thursday ordered Twitter to take down certain tweets by American historian Audrey Truschke within 48 hours, days after she and a few others academics were prevented by the court from publishing a letter accusing Sampath of plagiarism.
The February 18 court order that prevented Truschke, Ananya Chakrabarti and Rohit Chopra from continuing to publish their letter alleging plagiarism in Savarkar’s two-volume biography of Sampath also prohibited them from publishing anything defamatory against the Indian author on any platform, online or offline.
On Thursday, the court heard Sampath’s request for the removal of tweets posted after the injunction order was passed. The application also mentioned certain communications written by Truschke, despite last week’s court order, alleging plagiarism by Sampath.
While attorney Jawahar Raja, representing Chakrabarti, cited freedom of speech to oppose any orders to remove the tweets, Twitter argued that it would not stand in the way of court orders.
The letter written by the three US-based scholars on February 11 was addressed to the Royal Historical Society, of which Sampath is a member. They asked the society to subject all of Sampath’s work to close scrutiny.
Seeking damages of Rs 2 crore and a permanent injunction against the academics, Sampath had said in his lawsuit that the letter was part of an “international smear campaign” to discredit him because “he showed courage and boldness to challenge the dominant narrative around a historical figure”. The court was told that he had given references to the work of other scholars wherever they were mentioned.
After hearing from Sampath’s lawyer last week, Judge Amit Bansal said he had made a prima facie case for an interim injunction and that the continued publication of the letter had caused “considerable damage” to his reputation and reputation. career.
Journalist Abhishek Baxi and academic Ashok Swain are also charged in the case, but the court has yet to issue an order against them.