The Bombay High Court on Wednesday restrained industrialist Jaidev Shroff from using or circulating in public any video or audio clips that may prove defamatory to his estranged wife Poonam Bhagat.
Justice SJ Kathawalla also directed YouTube to take down all such video and audio clips from its site.
The directions came while the bench was hearing a defamation suit filed by Bhagat alleging that Shroff was in possession of several defamatory videos and audio clips and that many of such clips had found their way to YouTube, or that they were being circulated in public.
Bhagat, who is in a legal battle with Shroff, alleged in the suit that Shroff claimed before her that that he had “recorded certain clippings of her which would allegedly show the harassment and cruelty allegedly meted out to him.”
She said that some such clippings had been annexed by Shroff in the divorce petition filed before the Family Court and also that he claimed to have “audio recordings of conversations between Bhagat and a Bengali baba showing that she intended to poison him”.
Bhagat told the court that some of these video clips had been uploaded on You Tube and other mediums in cyber space by some unknown persons. These people, she claimed, had used aliases while uploading these clips.
She sought by way of interim relief that Shroff and other defendants be restrained from circulating these clips in public.
Shroff’s counsel, meanwhile, submitted a written statement on his behalf in the HC stating that “at no point of time in the past has he posted, uploaded, or given any contents of any video or audio clipping to either YouTube or any other
social platform.” He further stated that “he has no intention” to use them in future for any purpose other than presenting evidence before a court of law.
Justice Kathawalla then directed YouTube to take down all such video and audio clips and to file an affidavit by January 16 this year, disclosing the identities of the two aliases mentioned by Bhagat viz. ‘BLACK BOX’ and ‘GOD 1’.
Justice Kathawalla also restrained all parties to refrain from “using in any manner, or transmitting, transferring, sharing, circulating and / or publishing and / or repeating and / or republishing the impugned clippings.”
The HC is likely to take up the matter for further hearing on January 25.