Delhi HC orders Google to remove YouTube videos claiming Indian spices contain cow dung, urine


New Delhi: In view of some videos posted on YouTube channels claiming that all Indian spices contain cow dung and cow urine, the Delhi High Court has ordered Google to take them down.

These videos targeted several Indian brands, including ‘Catch Foods’.

Justice Sanjeev Narula of the Delhi High Court prohibited the Two YouTube channels from defaming and violating the copyright of the conglomerate Dharampal Satyapal Sons Pvt Ltd, which is the owner of goods sold under the ‘Catch’ brand.

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The court observed that the videos contained defamatory words without any justification.

Stating that the defendants made such fraudulent statements and spread false information under the guise of disclosing truth or facts concerning Indian spices, the court noted that there was no authoritative material or underlying cause for this.

The court said: “The impugned videos contain defamatory remarks against the plaintiff’s products without any basis. The plaintiff has placed on record a list of ingredients contained in its products/spices advertised in the impugned videos. It has obtained certification from all the concerned regulatory bodies and has even presented reports of an independent food analysis by a certified laboratory, which do not indicate presence of cow dung, cow urine or any other contaminants, as alleged in the impugned videos.”

Google had already been directed to disable access to the videos and provide the basic subscriber data, which it did and later summons were issued to TVR and Views News. As they did not show up, the court decided to continue ex-parte.

Rule 4(4) of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, which mandates additional due diligence to be observed by social media intermediaries in case such content is uploaded or streamed online, was also brought to the court’s attention by the plaintiff who urged for a summary judgement.

The court observed that the defendants’ failure to take action to remove the infringing content notwithstanding the plaintiff’s complaint, which was also confirmed by one of the defendants, demonstrated mala fide intentions.

As a result, the court decreed the suit against the defendants. It directed that in the event the videos appear again, the plaintiff might give Google the URLs, and Google will be required to take the appropriate steps to ensure that they are removed.

The court made it clear that if the content is different, Google could let the plaintiff know within a week and the plaintiff could then take appropriate legal action.

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( With inputs from )

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