HC cites freedom of speech in turning down Murthy’s plea
The Delhi high court has declined a plea by venture capitalist Mahesh Murthy to restrain publication of sexual harassment allegations against him by some women entrepreneurs. Murthy’s prayer for compensation to the tune of Rs 2,50,00,000 from eighteen defendants for publication of posts against him was also turned down by the court.
“It would not be reasonable in the facts and circumstances to fetter the narration of alleged facts and comments of defendants. The 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 (Murthy) would have a right to claim damages,” the single-judge bench of justice Jayant Nath said on Monday.
Some women published details of conversations with Murthy to expose his alleged inappropriate responses. Such posts were published on websites like LinkedIn and Indian Ceo. Articles were also FactorDaily and YourStory. The Delhi high court had, by a 2017 order, restrained publication of such material till his plea was decided. The HC on Monday vacated the stay. Murthy said he will be filing an appeal and that “justice will prevail”.