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Delhi HC tells Twitter, Google to take down articles about EbixCash

The articles had defamatory content against EbixCash World Money, an on-demand software supplying company

Illustration by Binay Sinha
Illustration by Binay Sinha

The Delhi High Court has directed Twitter and Google to take down cetrain articles published by Viceroy Research Group. The articles had defamatory content against EbixCash World Money, an on-demand software supplying company. The court has also issued notice to the research group and will hear the matter on September 4.  

EbixCash had approached the high court with a plea that Viceroy Research Group had published certain articles on its website which contained defamatory information about the former. EbixCash had alleged that Viceroy Research, which holds “short selling” positions in the company and its sister concerns, was using these defamatory articles to drive down the price of the company, and thereby making profit from it.

A single-judge Bench of Justice Jayant Nath, while agreeing with EbixCash’s plea that some of the statements made were “prima facie false, disparaging and malafide,” also issued notice to the three founders of the research group.

In its petition, it had alleged that the research group had made defamatory statements such EbixCash had changed its business model “without visible synergies or management experience”, or that there were “accounting discrepancies” in the firm. 

Earlier on April 1, EbixCash had also sent a legal notice to the research group in which it had alleged that the latter had, after publishing these articles, sent it to various banks and financial institutions, and the clients of the firm and media.

Short selling is a trading strategy in which stock holder bets on the prices of the stock or other securities coming down in near future. 

The statements, Ebixcash had said in the legal notice, were without any basis whatsoever, grossly defamatory, and falsely suggest to the public that the company was involved in unlawful and illegal transactions in India.   

Traders “shorting” the stock borrow the said stock from the market and bet on the securities’ price coming down to a certain level to make money.