Twitter Has To Take Down Tweets Of Historian Audrey Truschke: Delhi HC

The Delhi HC has directed Twitter to take down certain defamatory tweets posted by academician Dr. Audrey Truschke against historian Vikram Sampath over allegations of plagiarism. The order was passed after historian Dr Vikram Sampath moved a fresh application seeking a direction for taking down of further “defamatory tweets” posted by Dr Audrey Truschke.

“Despite ad interim injunction passed by this Court vide orders 18th February, 2022 and 24th February, 2022, the defendant no.1 continues to post defamatory material against the plaintiff on the platform of the defendant no. 4/Twitter. Further, the defendant no.1 has failed to enter appearance before this court,” said Justice Amit Bansal in an order.

Justice Amit Bansal, who was dealing with an application by Sampath for removal of the tweets, said that the tweets are defamatory in nature and contain links to the “very same letters” whose publication was restrained by the court earlier and a prima facie case is made out on behalf of the plaintiff.

With historian Dr Audrey Truschke not appearing in the proceedings initiated against her by historian Dr Vikram Sampath, the Delhi High Court has directed Twitter to take down five more tweets of her which are allegedly defamatory in nature and linked to the letters, the publication of which was injuncted by the court in February.

Seeking damages of Rs 2 crore and 100 rupees and permanent injunction against the defendants, Sampath in his suit said that the letter was part of an “international smear campaign” to discredit him because “he has shown the academic courage and gumption to challenge the prevailing narrative around a historical figure”.

The court on February 18 had restrained Truschke, Dr Ananya Chakrabarti and Dr Rohit Chopra from further publication of their letter accusing Dr Sampath of plagiarism with respect to his two-volume biography of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar. Even on February 24, the court had directed Twitter to take down five of Truschke’s tweets. The court was told that he has given references to the work of other scholars wherever the same has been mentioned. The matter is listed for hearing on July 28. Sampath’s suit pertains to the letter written by the three US-based academics on February 11 which was addressed to the Royal Historical Society where he is a fellow. They asked the society to subject Sampath’s body of work to scrutiny.

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