In its judgement in Google India Pvt. Ltd. vs M/s Visakha Industries in BANI defamation case dated December 10, 2019, the Supreme Court refused to quash defamation proceedings against Google for its failure to remove allegedly defamatory material from its ‘Google Group’ service. The 148 page long verdict is available here. The year 2019 ended with the verdict which reveals the ongoing struggle of Ban Asbestos Network of India (BANI) since 2002. They who are vocal against injustice and unjust corporate practices have always faced such cases. BANI cannot forget that there is no household in India which is free of deadly asbestos mineral fiber. Its case against asbestos laden talcum powder filed through ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA) in National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) captured national media's attention. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has responded to NHRC. The case remains with NHRC.
1. India Top Court Reaffirms Immunity to Google for Online Content
Alphabet Inc.’s Google isn’t liable for defamatory content posted on its platforms after 2009, India’s top court ruled, reaffirming immunity for Internet companies in the world’s second-most populous nation.
However, the top court ruled that Google India Pvt. Ltd. will have to face defamation charges in cases lodged before 2009, when India’s information technology laws were amended to provide online and social media service providers immunity for content posted by a third party. They will have to take down content only after a court order.
India Says Google Not Liable for Defamatory Content on Its Platforms
Doug Isenberg December 11, 2019
Alphabet Inc.’s Google isn’t liable for defamatory content posted on its platforms after 2009, India’s top court ruled, reaffirming immunity for Internet companies in the world’s second-most populous nation. The verdict, which reiterates a 2015 ruling, comes as a relief for social media companies, online retailers and service providers who are facing increasing pressure from the Indian government to regulate online
2. Google can't claim protection from defamation, says India's Supreme Court in BANI defamation case
A bench headed by Justice K.M. Joseph held that protection from defamation cannot be calimed
3. Vishakha Defamation Case: SC Rejects Google India’s Appeal, Says It’s Matter For Trial
4. Google India to face trial in pre-2009 defamation case
Visaka Industries filed the complaint after the company said it issued legal notices asking Google India to take down the write-up. Google then moved the Andhra High Court for quashing the proceedings, but did not get any relief. On Google’s appeal, SC stayed the proceedings till it had applied its mind to the issues involved.
5. Google to face trial in India after SC says it can't claim protection from defamation
6. Google India to face criminal trial in alleged defamation case filed by Visaka Industries
7. No Protection For Intermediary Under Sec 79 IT Act From Criminal Defamation Before 2009 Amendment
8. 'Intermediaries can't claim protection from defamation'
Ban Asbestos Network of India (BANI)