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Delhi HC directs journo Saket Gokhale to delete tweets against Lakshmi Puri, asks Twitter to act if he fails

Tuesday, 13 July 2021 (18:06 IST)
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday directed journalist Saket Gokhale to immediately delete all his tweets ‘defaming’ Lakshmi Murdeshwar Puri, the former assistant secretary-general to the United Nations and her husband Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri.

A bench of Justice C Hari Shankar also directed Twitter to take action if Gokhale fails to delete the tweets within 24 hours of the passing of the order.

Gokhale, in his tweets on June 13 and 26, alleged that Lakshmi Puri had purchased a certain property in Switzerland disproportionate to her income.

He had tagged Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the tweets while seeking an inquiry by the Enforcement Directorate.

“If an ex-Indian civil servant who’s with the BJP bought an overseas house worth $2 million (with no income other than salary) while in service, will ED investigate it?” read one of his tweets.

Following the remarks, Lakshmi Puri filed a defamation suit seeking Rs 5 crore in damages from Gokhale.

The court observed that prima facie it has not been able to find “even a scintilla of impropriety” or lack of transparency in the purchase of a Swiss apartment by Puri and the disclosures made to the statutory authorities.

The Court gave four weeks for Gokhale to file replies to the suit and listed the case before the Joint Registrar on September 10. (UNI)

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