Swami Ramdev & Anr. v. Facebook, Inc. & Ors.

Delhi High Court
Document type
Court Decision

On October 23, 2019, the Delhi High Court issued an injunction against Facebook, Google, YouTube and Twitter (Defendants) and other online intermediaries, directing them to globally take down a list of URLs from their platforms which were allegedly defamatory to the Plaintiffs. The case was brought by yoga guru Swami Ramdev in relation to an alleged defamatory video and related content posted and disseminated on the Defendants’ platforms. The impugned content summarized the contents of a book which had been found to be defamatory by another court.

After a detailed analysis of the law on intermediary liability in India under the Information Technology Act, 2000 and the Information Technology Rules, 2011, the Court held that the intermediaries were obliged to take down and block all such illegal content and videos which had been uploaded from I.P. addresses within India, on a global basis. Further, for illegal content which was uploaded outside the Indian territory, the Court directed geo-blocking access and disabling viewership of such content from within India. For detailed analysis, refer to the case summary on Columbia Global Freedom of Expression.

Topic, claim, or defense
Defamation or Personality Rights
Document type
Court Decision
Issuing entity
Appellate Domestic Court
Type of service provider
Host (Including Social Networks)
Issues addressed
Limitation on Scope of Compliance (Geographic, Temporal, etc.)
OSP obligation considered
Block or Remove
Type of law
General effect on immunity
Weakens Immunity
General intermediary liability model
Takedown/Act Upon Court Order