A Telangana court has directed news portal The Wire to take down 14 misleading articles published on the website on Covid-19 vaccine manufacturer Bharat Biotech.
The suit was filed against the publisher of The Wire, Foundation for Independent Journalism, its Editors Siddharth Vardarajan, Sidharth Roshanlal Bhatia and MK Venu, and nine others who wrote the articles against Bharat Biotech and COVAXIN.
The order was passed by an additional district judge at the Ranga Reddy District Court in a ₹100-crore defamation suit filed by Bharat Biotech against the news website, Bar & Bench reported.
Senior counsel K Vivek Reddy, appearing for Bharat Biotech, argued that The Wire had published articles that contained “false allegations” against Bharat Biotech and Covaxin, the vaccine manufactured by the company, with “malicious intent to undermine the reputation of the company”.
After hearing the arguments, the court directed the removal of the articles within 48 hours and also restrained The Wire from publishing any defamatory articles about Bharat Biotech and Covaxin, according to Bar & Bench.
Reacting to the court order, The Wire’s founding editor, Siddharth Varadarajan, tweeted: “So 14 deeply reported Covaxin stories— published over a year—ordered to be taken down by a local court with no notice served on The Wire, no chance given for us to refute whatever false claims Bharat Biotech has made against us! Let me say this — BB’s bullying will not work.”