Delhi HC orders Mint newspaper to remove article against YouTuber Gaurav Taneja

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The Delhi HC recently issued an order against the Mint newspaper to remove an article against YouTuber Gaurav Taneja and his wife Ritu Rathee. The article, written by Shephali Bhatt and published by Mint on May 8, alleged that Taneja and his wife abused their own children. The article had called out Taneja for sharing a video of her eldest daughter’s ear piercing.

“The 10-minute video then shows the girl screaming and writhing in pain as the camera zooms in on her,” the author wrote. She had further quoted a Mangalore-based child psychologist in the article saying the act presented “clear cases of child abuse”.

In this regard, the Delhi High Court observed: “Piercing a girl’s ears cannot be considered child abuse. Allegations of child abuse are serious allegations and cannot be made without due diligence and verification. It cannot be based on the opinions of the author.

The court ordered the newspaper to withdraw the article. Furthermore, the court also asked journalist Abhishek Baxi to delete the defamatory tweets against Taneja.

Earlier this week, the YouTuber filed a complaint that his daughter received a death threat call. Before that, he was arrested for hosting a birthday meeting at a Delhi metro station.

The facts of the case

YouTuber, social media influencer and former AirAsia pilot Gaurav Taneja is in the news again. Recently, the Delhi High Court issued an order against The Mint newspaper to remove an article written by Shephali Bhatt. The article, published on May 8, was allegedly defamatory in nature against Taneja and his wife Ritu Rathee.


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The article asked brands not to support Gaurav Taneja

Delhi HC was hearing a plea from Taneja and his wife, seeking an injunction against Mint and his reporter regarding an article titled “Shouldn’t brands stop supporting sleazy influencers? “. In the article, the author called on brands to stop supporting influencers like Taneja, and further accused him of child abuse.

Allegations launched by a journalist in an article in good condition

Taking note of the article, Judge Amit Bansal observed that there was no clear evidence to prove the journalist’s allegations of child abuse. In the article, the author had given the reference of a video shared by Taneja on her social networks which showed her eldest daughter having her ears pierced.

“The 10-minute video then shows the girl screaming and writhing in pain as the camera zooms in on her,” the author wrote. She further cited a Mangalore-based child psychologist who claimed the act was a clear case of child abuse.


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‘Cannot be called child abuse’: Delhi HC

To this, the Delhi High Court observed: “Piercing a girl’s ears cannot qualify as child abuse. Allegations of child abuse are serious allegations and cannot be made without due diligence and verification. It cannot be based on the opinions of the author.


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‘Vicious attacks cannot be launched’: Journalists’ Tribunal

The court also noted that while a person has the right to criticize an individual’s views, it also noted that “vicious attacks cannot be made on a person’s character under the guise of journalistic freedom” . “There is nothing in the aforementioned videos to support the allegations of child abuse,” the court added.

Eventually, the court ordered the newspaper to remove the defamatory article and tweets against Taneja and Rathee.

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