Aaradhya Bachchan v. Bollywood Times

The Cyber Blog IndiaCase Summary

Restraining order against defendants for posting photos and videos spreading misinformation regarding the plaintiff's physical and mental health

Aaradhya Bachchan v. Bollywood Time
In the High Court of Delhi
CS (Comm) 230/2023
Before Justice C. Hari Shankar
Decided on April 20, 2023

Relevancy of the Case: Restraining order against defendants for posting photos and videos spreading misinformation regarding the plaintiff’s physical and mental health

Statutes and Provisions Involved

  • The Information Technology Act, 2000 (Section 79)
  • The Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (Section 80, 149, Order II Rule 2, Order XI Rule 1(4), Rule 2, Order XXXIX Rule 1, 2, 3)
  • The Commercial Courts Act, 2015 (Section 12A)
  • The Indian Evidence Act, 1872 (Section 65B)
  • The Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 (Rule 4(4))

Relevant Facts of the Case

  • The plaintiff is a minor child who is a daughter of a celebrity family. For publicity, some individuals post videos on social media platforms stating that the plaintiff is critically ill.
  • These individuals have even claimed that the plaintiff is no more and posted pictures with wreaths surrounding her face. The videos involve inviting subscriptions from the viewers.
  • Such actions violate the intellectual property rights of the plaintiff’s family, including copyright in the plaintiff’s images.
  • Hence, the plaintiff, through her father, has brought the present suit before the court.

Prominent Arguments by the Advocates

  • The plaintiff’s counsel submitted that they were not seeking censorship of content uploaded on YouTube before it was uploaded. However, the intermediary should follow a more stringent nature of responsibility.
  • The respondent’s counsel, appearing for Google/YouTube, argued that her client had no control over the content of the videos. YouTube does not screen videos before they are posted. Only a remedial mechanism is available for people who object to the information posted.

Opinion of the Bench

  • Every child deserves to be treated with honour and respect, whether the child of a celebrity or an ordinary man.
  • Dissemination of any misleading information about a child, especially regarding her physical and mental health, is utterly intolerable in law.

Final Decision

  • The court passed restraining orders against defendants 1 to 9 from uploading content related to the plaintiff and directed YouTube to disclose the defendants’ contact details.

Ananya Dixit, an undergraduate student at Symbiosis Law School, Hyderabad, prepared this case summary during her internship with The Cyber Blog India in May/June 2023.