MUMBAI: In a relief to Lavasa Corporation Limited, a Pune court, in an interim order, has restrained an entrepreneur from publishing or circulating defamatory material against the company.
The order was given by civil judge, Senior Division, R R Rathi on December 6, while hearing a Rs 100 crore suit filed by Lavasa.
Lavasa had prayed for a direction to restrain Reji Thomas from circulating defamatory messages against the company and its project.
In the suit, Lavasa contended that Thomas is a director of Jenjon Retail & Services Pvt Ltd, which was running a cafe in the premises owned by Lavasa Corporation, near Pune.
The contract with Thomas came to an end 'upon efflux of time'. This apparently enraged Thomas and he allegedly started a negative online campaign against Lavasa, the suit claimed.
Thomas sent emails to several people abusing Lavasa and posting defamatory articles on social media platforms, it alleged.
However, Thomas has denied the allegations. Lavasa in its plaint alleged that Thomas was apparently using various fictional Twitter handles to malign its name, one of them being LavasaInvestor. Lavasa urged that such campaign on the internet leads to loss of reputation not only in the country, but also abroad.
The defendants contended that they had not published any defamatory statements against the company and denied sending e-mails' against Lavasa. Posting on website does not amount to publication of defamatory statement, they argued.
However, the court noted that sending e-mails to others by attributing defamatory matter to any entity or person and posting such matter on website which is read by world at large amounts to publication of such statement.
"I am of the view that the plaintiff is entitled to ad interim injunction as prayed for," the judge noted.
The court also held that a case for trial was made out by Lavasa, adding that the company had established a prima facie case in its favour.