SMC Pneumatics (India) Pvt. Ltd. v. Jogesh Kwatra
In India's first case of cyber defamation, a Court of Delhi assumed jurisdiction over a matter where a corporate’s reputation was being defamed through emails and passed an important ex-parte injunction.
In this case, the defendant Jogesh Kwatra being an employ of the plaintiff company started sending derogatory, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, filthy and abusive emails to his employers as also to different subsidiaries of the said company all over the world with the aim to defame the company and its Managing Director Mr. R K Malhotra. The plaintiff filed a suit for permanent injunction restraining the defendant from doing his illegal acts of sending derogatory emails to the plaintiff.
On behalf of the plaintiffs it was contended that the emails sent by the defendant were distinctly obscene, vulgar, abusive, intimidating, humiliating and defamatory in nature. Counsel further argued that the aim of sending the said emails was to malign the high reputation of the plaintiffs all over India and the world. He further contended that the acts of the defendant in sending the emails had resulted in invasion of legal rights of the plaintiffs. Further the defendant is under a duty not to send the aforesaid emails. It is pertinent to note that after the plaintiff company discovered the said employ could be indulging in the matter of sending abusive emails, the plaintiff terminated the services of the defendant
After hearing detailed arguments of Counsel for Plaintiff, Hon'ble Judge of the Delhi High Court passed an ex-parte ad interim injunction observing that a prima facie case had been made out by the plaintiff. Consequently, the Delhi High Court restrained the defendant from sending derogatory, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, humiliating and abusive emails either to the plaintiffs or to its sister subsidiaries all over the world including their Managing Directors and their Sales and Marketing departments. Further, Hon'ble Judge also restrained the defendant from publishing, transmitting or causing to be published any information in the actual world as also in cyberspace which is derogatory or defamatory or abusive of the plaintiffs.
This order of Delhi High Court assumes tremendous significance as this is for the first time that an Indian Court assumes jurisdiction in a matter concerning cyber defamation and grants an ex-parte injunction restraining the defendant from defaming the plaintiffs by sending derogatory, defamatory, abusive and obscene emails either to the plaintiffs or their subsidiaries.