New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Monday restrained Vikash Kotnala, the YouTube channel partner of entrepreneur Vivek Bindra, from posting defamatory videos or any other material against motivational speaker Sandeep Maheshwari.
In an interim order, Justice Prateek Jalan said prima facie there was a link between Kotnala and Bindra, also a motivational speaker, and Kotnala's videos amount to circumventing a Faridabad civil court's order passed last month that restrained both Maheshwari and Bindra from posting defamatory material against each other.
On December 22, 2023, a civil court in Haryana's Faridabad had said in order to preserve the peace, both the parties (Bindra and Maheshwari) were restrained from uploading any defamatory/ disparaging video on social media or any other online or offline mode against each other. The case, filed by Bindra against Maheshwari, is listed before the Faridabad court on Tuesday.
The high court was hearing a plea by Maheshwari seeking its direction to restrain Kotnala from making any defamatory or disparaging video against him.
The court said Maheshwari has made a prima facie case in support of his claim that irreparable harm would be caused if an injunction order was not passed.
“I am of the view that the publication of material by defendant no. 3 (Kotnala), who claims to be channel partner of defendant no. 2 (company owned by Bindra), has the effect of circumventing the injunction granted by the civil court and has the potential to cause irreparable prejudice to the plaintiff (Maheshwari) who has also been subjected to injunction.
“The balance of convenience is also in the plaintiff’s favour… Till the next date of hearing, defendant no. 3 is restrained from publishing any defamatory/ disparaging video against the plaintiff on any online or offline mode in line with the orders passed by the civil court,” the judge said.
Senior advocate Sandeep Sethi, representing Maheshwari, argued that Kotnala has been propped by Bindra to make allegations against Maheshwari.
He referred to two videos posted by Kotnala where he alleged that Maheshwari was trying to extort money from Bindra and that he (Maheshwari) was using students to oust a competitor (Bindra) from the market.
The lawyer said Bindra was also made a party to the suit but no order was being sought against him as he and Maheshwari are bound by the civil court's order.
During the hearing, the judge observed that social media was a strange world and that there was some sort of war which was starting on these YouTube channels.
“It is not that I am seeing this for the first time. There seems to be a very low level of discourse during this fighting between some rivals," the judge said.
Maheshwari and Bindra have been engaged in a war of words since December 11, 2023, when the former released a video titled ‘Big Scam Exposed’. While the video did not name Bindra, social media users made the connection.
The allegation was that Bindra was running a scam and fooling young people by providing a 10-day MBA course.
In a few days, Maheshwari’s video garnered millions of views after which he claimed that he was being pressured to take down the video.
Bindra, however, denied any wrongdoing and released a video on his YouTube channel answering Maheshwari’s allegations.