Subodh Gupta’s defamation plea heard in Delhi HC

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Published on Sep 30, 2019 11:51 PM IST
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By HT Correspondent, New Delhi

: Technology giant Google told the Delhi High Court on Monday that it was ready to take down articles that reported on the allegations of sexual harassment made against contemporary artist Subodh Gupta in an anonymously curated Instagram account, ‘Herdsceneand’.

Senior advocate Kailash Vasdev, appearing for Gupta, told the court that he would give all the pertinent links to the Google counsel, so that the content can be stopped from further circulation.

On September 18, Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw of the Delhi High Court ordered Instagram, one of the defendants named in Gupta’s plea, to furnish particulars of the person/entity behind the Instagram account ‘Herdsceneand’ in a sealed envelope on Monday. The court had also restrained the Instagram account ‘Herdsceneand’ from posting content pertaining to Gupta.

Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw asked Instagram to reveal the name after the social media platform did not comply with the earlier order.

In September 18 order, the court also directed search engine Google to “take down the defamatory posts/articles/all content pertaining to the plaintiff” listing 18 links, including specific news items as well as search pages with stories on Gupta’s harassment charged in the Me Too movement.

The allegations of harassment were made in December 2018, over Instagram. The account curated a host of allegations against male artists, and other men connected to the art world. Gupta had denied the allegations, and stepped down as guest curator of the Serendipity Arts Festival in Goa.

Gupta named Facebook Incorporated, Facebook Ireland Limited, Google Incorporated and Google India as defendants, besides the account Herdsceneand, and Instagram (which is owned by Facebook). However, the counsel for Facebook Ireland told the court that it did not have any association with the post and that Facebook USA would be responsible for it. There was no representation from either Instagram or Facebook USA present in court.

“We will not be able to comment as the matter is sub judice. Facebook remains committed to complying with applicable laws,” a Facebook spokesperson told HT.

The next date of hearing has been set for November 18.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2021