Bloomberg moves Delhi HC against lower court order to remove defamatory article against ZEE

New Delhi, March 6 (IANS) Bloomberg Television Production Services India Pvt Ltd (Bloomberg) has moved Delhi High Court against a trial court order to take down an allegedly defamatory article published against ZEE Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEE) on February 21.

Additional District Judge (ADJ), Harjyot Singh Bhalla on March 1 had held that ZEE had made out a prima facie case for passing ad interim ex-parte orders of injunction and directed Bloomberg to take down the allegedly defamatory article from its platform within one week of receipt of the order.

ZEE, in its suit, argued that the Bloomberg article which mentioned details relating to the corporate governance and business operations of ZEE, was inaccurate in nature and led to a 15 per cent drop in share price of the company, eroding investor wealth.

Appearing for the news platform, Bloomberg, Senior Advocate Rajiv Nayar said, “I am an international news agency. In an ex parte order, the ADJ has asked us to take down the post within a week without a reasoned order.”

The Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Manmeet PS Arora allowed urgent listing for March 7.

The ADJ had also restrained Bloomberg from posting, circulating, or publishing the article on any online or offline platform till the next date of hearing.

ZEE said that the “false and factually incorrect” article was published, with a pre-meditated and mala fide intention to defame the company.

The article, it said, incorrectly published that the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has found a $241 million accounting issue at the company, whereas there is no such order from the regulator.

Despite the company firmly refuting the same, the article incorrectly published financial irregularities in ZEE, without the basis of any order from the regulator, ZEE said.

The counsel for ZEE had argued that irreparable loss and injury may be caused to the company if the injunction, as prayed for, was not granted.



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