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Delhi HC directs Telegram to disclose identity of users running channels to share e-papers of Dainik Jagran in PDF format on daily basis

The Court has also directed Telegram to take down/block such channels on its platform within 48 hours of the receipt of the order.

Aditi Singh

The Delhi High Court has directed messaging app, Telegram to disclose the identity of the users who are running channels on the platform to share e-papers of Dainik Jagran in PDF format on daily basis. (Jagran Prakashan vs Telegram & Ors)

The Court has also directed Telegram to take down/block such channels on its platform within 48 hours of the receipt of the order.

The ex parte interim order was passed by a Single Judge Bench of Justice Mukta Gupta in a suit preferred by the company which owns the newspaper, Dainik Jagran (Plaintiff).

The Plaintiff informed the Court that at present, the readers of the newspaper have the option to either subscribe the physical/print newspaper or to read the daily newspaper in the digital format on the web page of the newspaper itself.

It was added that considering the present COVID-19 situation, the Plaintiff was contemplating imposing fee on the digital newspaper in India.

As per the Plaintiff, its newspaper website had a security feature whereby a reader could read the newspaper in the digital form on the website but could not download the same in the PDF format.

Further, it was claimed that the Plaintiff was the exclusive owner of the trademark 'Dainik Jagran' and its variations.

It was the Plaintiff's grievance that certain users of the messaging app, Telegram had created channels on the platform to share e-papers of the Plaintiff in PDF format on daily basis.

Such an activity, the Plaintiff said, was not only permitting the availability of current editions of the e-paper but permitted its users to download all the previous editions of the e-paper published in the past, which is otherwise available to a user only if he/she pays a subscription fee.

It was added that Telegram granted access and permission to the users of its application to create various channels while not disclosing their identity.

The Plaintiff contended that given the fact that Telegram, through these unknown users, was indulging into reproducing, adapting, distributing, transmitting and disseminating its e-newspapers, there was not only a serious financial loss to the Plaintiff but also violation of its trademark rights and copyrights in the e-newspaper.

The Plaintiff relied on Section 79 of the Information Technology Act to state that Telegram could not escape from its liability on the ground that it is an intermediary for the reason that it was required to conduct due diligence and in terms of Rule-3 (4) of the Information Technology (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules, 2011.

In view of the submissions made by the Plaintiff, the Court opined that the Plaintiff had made out a prima facie case in its favour and in case no ad-interim injunction was granted, it would suffer irreparable loss.

While granting an ad-interim injunction in favour of the Plaintiff, the Court ordered,

The defendant No.1 is also directed to disclose the basic subscriber information/identity of the users/owners of the channels..Defendant No.1 is further directed to take down/block the telegram channels.. infringing the rights of the plaintiff within 48 hours of the receipt of this order.
Delhi High Court

The Court also issued summons in the suit to Telegram.

The matter would be heard next on June 23.

Advocate Jeevesh Mehta appeared for the Plaintiff.

ASG Maninder Acharya with Standing Counsel Harish Vaidyanathan Shankar and Advocate Viplav Acharya appeared for the Centre.

Read the Order:

Jagran Prakashan vs Telegram & Ors.pdf
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