Delhi HC orders journalist to take down defamatory video against Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday directed a journalist to take down his video from social media containing defamatory content against Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.

Justice Jasmeet Singh, while dealing with a lawsuit by the jailed religious leader, said the video was prima facie defamatory and granted liberty to journalist Shyam Meera Singh to upload a fresh video with disclaimers about the source of his statements.

The plaintiff said the video, titled “How Gurmeet Ram Rahim fooled his followers?”, made defamatory allegations about the preacher’s association with a person alleged to be a terrorist, and jeopardised his right to fair trial and reputation.

The counsel for the journalist said the video quoted contents of a trial court judgement against Singh and a book “Dera Sacha Sauda and Gurmeet Ram Rahim”, written by Anurag Tripathi.

“The video seems to be prima facie defamatory. Defendant no 2 (Shyam Meera Singh) shall remove the video from defendant no 1 (YouTube) and is at liberty to upload the video (again) with disclaimer as to the portion quoted from the judgement and portion quoted from the book,” Justice Singh ordered.

“Removal shall be done from all social media platforms within 24 hours,” the court added.

The court’s order came on an application in the lawsuit for interim relief.

In 2021, the Dera chief, along with four others, was convicted of plotting to kill Ranjit Singh, a Dera manager. He was also convicted in 2019 in the murder of a journalist more than 16 years ago. In 2017, Singh was sentenced to 20 years in jail for raping his two disciples.

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