Gujarat court orders man from publishing reports on AGL

Gujarat court orders Youtuber to refrain from carrying out reports concerning Adani Group

Earlier, the Youtuber published a video alleging Adani Group was hoarding food grain

Representative image. Credit: iStockPhoto

A city court has ordered a Youtuber to refrain from "publishing or carrying out reports" of any kind concerning Adani Group and its subsidiary firm Adani Agri Logistics (AGL) till the next hearing of the case. The order came on a civil suit filed by AGL against the Youtuber identified as Vinay Dubey, the "creator of Youtube channel Loktantra TV."

The AGL had moved a defamation suit against Dubey earlier in December for "uploading and hosting" a video dated December 6, which the company claims, is "scandalous, frivolous, misleading, derogatory, libellous and defamatory against the plaintiff company, with the sole intention to tarnish the image of the plaintiff company and Adani group." AGL has claimed that the video was made "to create civil unrest by instigating farmers and people at large."

AGL has also sought Rs 5 crore damage from the defendant. In the court order passed on December 28, the company is quoted as saying that Dubey's video is a "blatant attempt to invade and attack the reputation and goodwill of the plaintiff company and Adani Group. It is submitted that the said video had reached the masses and as on 10.12.2020, there were 4,60,281 views for the same." In the video, Dubey has reportedly alleged that the company is building food grain facilities to hoard food grains from farmers to sell it at a higher price.

The firm has said that "modernized Silo storage is a critical move by the Government of India and FCI (Food Corporation of India) to safeguard the precious food grains from wastage that can feed millions and help the nation overcome its concerns of hunger. However, the defendant herein, by using blatant information and lies has shown his lack of regard for the people of India and farmers."It adds that the circulation of video is sufficient proof of "imminent danger and caused an irreparable injury to the plaintiff company, which the plaintiff has on a conservative basis estimated to be in the sum of Rs 5 Crores."  

The court order mentions submission of the plaintiff that "when the nationwide farmers are agitating against the enactment of (1) Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020 (2) Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 and (3) Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020, the defendant (Dubey) has misused his position to smear the Adani group instead of exercising due diligence in reporting facts."

The company has argued that Dubey's channel is not registered with any media watchdogs or government agencies yet it "he has made strenuous remarks against the Prime Minister and thereby debilitated the reputation of the PMO (Prime Minister Office) and also made a statement that new farm laws are result of favouritism, which the Central Government has enacted to ensure lucrative profits being made by the plaintiff company and Adani Group."