HC Lifts Gag Order on Harassment Allegations Against Mahesh Murthy

Multiple women had accused Murthy of sexual harassment in 2017.

Updated09 Jul 2020, 10:51 AM IST
Gender
1 min read

The Delhi High Court lifted the 2017 gag order restraining media houses from publishing articles over the sexual harassment allegations against prominent venture capitalist Mahesh Murthy. While the order was passed earlier in July, it came to light on Wednesday, 8 July.

The order was passed by Justice Jayant Nath, while hearing a defamation suit filed by Murthy against 18 defendants.

“The said defendants have a right to exercise their right of freedom of speech. If these incidents and claims of the said defendants are in trial proved to be false, the plaintiff would have a right to claim damages,” Justice Nath observed, reported Live Law.

Multiple women had accused Murthy of sexual harassment in 2017.

Defendants in the case also include media houses like Asian Age and Deccan Chronicle as well as journalists from SheThePeople, YourStory and FactorDaily, among others. The Mumbai-based venture capitalist had sought damages amounting to Rs 2.5 crore.

‘Bald Plea,’ Says Delhi HC

Filing the suit, Murthy had claimed that the accusers made harassment allegations as he refused to invest in their businesses. The Delhi HC, however, said that it appeared to be a 'bald plea.'

The court also noted that prima facie, it cannot be said that the defendants have no case against Murthy or were misusing their freedom of speech.

“Further, it cannot be said that the said defendants are behaving in a malicious or mala fide manner,” the HC noted, reported The Wire.

“If these incidents and claims of the said defendants are in trial proved to be false, the plaintiff would have a right to claim damages,” the judgement said.

(With inputs from The Wire, Live Law)

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Published: 09 Jul 2020, 04:30 AM IST
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