A video of a man dancing to the song ‘Aa Hi Jaiye’ from the 2001 Hindi film Lajja at the beach has gone viral on social media, where users have identified the dancer as senior advocate Saurabh Kirpal.
The claim: The post is being shared in bad taste, mocking Kirpal and sharing the video to imply that the Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud is desperate to pass the marriage equality law in India.
The Quint received multiple queries for this video’s verification on its WhatsApp tipline.
Is that Kirpal?: No, the man in the video was identified as Damandeep Singh Chaudhary, the co-founder of the fashion company Runway Lifestyle.
Chaudhary uploaded the video on his Instagram account which has the username 'damandiaries', on 3 June.
How did we find out?: Our team had fact-checked a similar, viral claim in May 2023, when a video of Chaudhary was being shared on social media where users identified him as Kirpal.
We checked his Instagram profile – which has the username ‘damandiaries’ – for this video and found that it had was shared on 3 June.
The video was shared with the caption “"Remember this, that very little is needed to make a happy life.” — Marcus Aurelius.”
The account belongs to one Damandeep Singh Chaudhary, whose bio mentioned that he has co-founded Runway Lifestyle.
On its website, Runway Lifestyle, which was founded in 2009, showed Chaudhary as the company’s director and co-founder.
We compared photos of Chaudhary and Kirpal and noticed that the person in the video was not Kirpal.
Kirpal's clarification: In May, Kirpal had addressed the previous video to clarify that the person in the video was not him.
Criticising those sharing the video in a mocking manner, he said “mocking anyone in this way is disgusting homophobia.”
Why is the claim being shared?: Saurabh Kirpal, who is the son of former CJI BN Kirpal, openly identifies as a gay man.
Kirpal was recommended by the Supreme Court Collegium for appointment as a judge at the Delhi High Court, which if accepted, would make him India's first openly queer judge.
His file was sent back to the collegium after the Centre expressed concern over Kirpal's openness about his sexual orientation.
Kirpal is a petitioner in the marriage equality case in the Supreme Court, which is being heard by a five judge bench headed by CJI Chandrachud. The apex court has reserved its judgement in the case.
Conclusion: A video of one Damandeep Singh Chaudhary dancing to a Hindi song is being shared on social media, where users have misidentified him as senior advocate Saurabh Kirpal.