Will Continue to Hear Rs 100-Crore Defamation Suit Filed by Serum Institute: Bombay HC


Edited By: Pathikrit Sen Gupta

Last Updated: January 19, 2023, 01:40 IST

The Rs 100-crore defamation suit filed by Serum Institute of India and Adar Poonawalla has sought a permanent and mandatory injunction against the individuals and their social media channels, restraining them from making, posting publishing, reproducing, circulating, communicating, uploading defamatory and derogatory statements/posts/articles/ videos against Serum Institute and Poonawalla which it says are completely false, erroneous, derogatory and defamatory. (File Photo)

Advocate Nilesh Ojha for the defendants cited judgments before the court in support of his case. He submitted that the plaintiff was trying to indirectly seek relief by restraining the defendants from using the term ‘mass murderers’, he said

A single-judge bench of the Bombay High Court comprising Justice RI Chagla on Wednesday said it will continue hearing the Rs 100-crore defamation case filed by Serum Institute of India.

Advocate Nilesh Ojha for the defendants cited judgments before the court in support of his case. He also submitted before the court that Serum Institute had not filed replies in other petitions pending before the HC.

During the earlier hearing, Advocate Ojha had argued, โ€œSupreme Court of India and New York has observed that after taking vaccine one can get Covid and can be a super spreader. They are the pharma mafia. Now they say after taking the vaccine there will be less hospitalisation. 60-70% of hospitalisation is due to Covid. I know doctors who have died due to Covid.โ€

He also submitted that Cyrus Poonawala has been giving statements to news channels and asking people to take booster doses despite there being reports that booster doses can increase the chances of death by 20%.

Further, if the defendants were refrained from calling the plaintiffs mass murderers, then they would not be able to pursue the criminal case, he said.

However, Justice Chagla said that the apology would be without any prejudice to the other case and that the other case would continue.

Earlier, senior advocate Aspi Chinoy had argued that statements like mass murderers were used against someone who has saved millions of lives.

It was contended on behalf of Serum Institute that the Covishield vaccine has played a key role in the vaccination programme of the Government of India with approximately 219.86 crore doses having been administered till November 2022. Thereby it contributed heavily to the Government of Indiaโ€™s successful vaccination programme which has resulted in averting the deaths of 4 million Indians and there is no justification for defamatory statements being made by Yohan Tengra and Ambar Koiri, it was argued.

The Rs 100-crore defamation suit filed by Serum Institute of India and Adar Poonawalla has sought a permanent and mandatory injunction against the individuals and their social media channels, restraining them from making, posting publishing, reproducing, circulating, communicating, uploading defamatory and derogatory statements/posts/articles/ videos against Serum Institute and Poonawalla which it says are completely false, erroneous, derogatory and defamatory.

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