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Shehla Rashid's Estranged Father, Media Restrained From Publishing Defamatory Content Against Her Family

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
23 Dec 2020 2:57 AM GMT
Shehla Rashids Estranged Father, Media Restrained From Publishing Defamatory Content Against Her Family
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The Srinagar Court has also asked Facebook, Twitter, YouTube & Google to suspend the links of defamatory contents.

A Court at Srinagar has granted interim relief to Shehla Rashid by restraining her estranged father Abdul Rashid Shora from publishing any material which causes harassment, agony or defamation to herself, her mother or her sister.The Court has also restrained media outlets, social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter and also Google & YouTube from "publishing, telecasting...

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A Court at Srinagar has granted interim relief to Shehla Rashid by restraining her estranged father Abdul Rashid Shora from publishing any material which causes harassment, agony or defamation to herself, her mother or her sister.

The Court has also restrained media outlets, social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter and also Google & YouTube from "publishing, telecasting or broadcasting any mater with respect to the matrimonial life of the plaintiffs and defendant no. 1(Abdul Shora) or which has the potential to defame the plaintiffs".

The injunction order was passed by the Small Causes Court at Srinagar in a suit filed by Shehla Rashid, her mother Zubeida Akthar and sister Asma Rashid Shora.

The operative portion of the order passed on December 21 reads as :

"… defendant no. 1(Shora) is restrained from causing any interference in the life of the plaintiffs and shall abstain from publishing an material through media or other means which has the potential to cause harassment, agony and pain to the plaintiffs or which is defamatory in its nature. The defendants 2-8 (media outlets, social media companies) are also restrained from publishing, telecasting or broadcasting any mater with respect to the matrimonial life of the plaintiffs and defendant no. 1 or which has the potential to defame the plaintiffs. For this purpose, the defendant shall take steps to suspend the links mentioned hereinabove which contain contents causing harassment and defamation to the plaintiffs"

Judge Fayaz Ahmad Qureshi formed a prima facie opinion that the materials published by Abdul Shora were violative of the "right to privacy and the right to live with dignity and honour" of the plaintiffs.

Last month, Abdul Shora had levelled allegations against Shehla Rashid and claimed that he was facing threat to life from her. Rashid shot back by dismissing the allegations as "absolutely disgusting and baseless" and said this was his the reaction after a court barred him entry into their Srinagar house on November 17 in response to a complaint filed by the family against him under the Domestic Violence Act.

Following this development, Shehla Rashid and her family filed the suit seeking restraint order against Abdul Shora and the media outlets.

Allowing their plea for interim injunction, the Court observed:

"On the face of it, defendant no.1(Abdul Shora) appears to have approached media and J&K DGP to malign the plaintiffs who have obtained an order from court of competent jurisdiction".

The Court added :

"From the material placed on record and the contents of the suit, this court is prima facie satisfied that a matrimonial dispute is going on between the plaintiffs and defendant no. 1 and prima facie it appears that despite order of Ld. JMIC Srinagar in a petition under D.V. Act against the defendant no.1 the defendant no. 1 has approached the print and electronic media to give hype to private matrimonial issues. The media is also under legal duty to ascertain the truth and abstain from reporting a matter which has potential of infringement of right to privacy or other rights of the plaintiff".

The plaintiffs submitted before the Court that Abdul Rashid Shora has made every attempt to defame and lower their reputation by leveling false and frivolous allegations, including branding the plaintiffs as "anti-national elements."

They also argued that media outlets Earth News, State Times and Jammu Kashmir News(defendants 2, 3 and 4) did not conduct themselves professionally by publishing the allegations of Abdul Shora without verification and due investigation.

The India heads of Facebook, Twitter, Google and YouTube were added as defendants 5, 6, 7 and 8.

As regards media outlets and social media platforms, the court observed :

"...the acts of defendants 2-8 prima facie appears to be in violation of right to privacy and right to live with dignity and honour of the plaintiffs.

The defendant 2-8 have no legal justification to highlight a private issue of the plaintiffs and defendant no. 1 which court of competent jurisdiction is already seized of and such acts on the part of defendant 2-8 amount to perpetuation of civil wrong infringing the rights of the plaintiffs".



Click here to read/download the order









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