Court Restrains Shehla Rashid's Father, Media From Publishing Defamatory, Private Content About Her

The defendants include Abdul Rashid Shora, certain media outlets, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google.

New Delhi: A court in Srinagar has restrained Shehla Rashid’s father and the media from publishing defamatory content or details of her private life. Judge Fayaz Ahmad Qureshi found that prima facie, the material that was being published against Shehla, her mother and her sister violated their right to privacy and their right to live with dignity, Bar and Bench reported.

Shehla, her mother Zubeida Akhter and sister Asma Rashid had filed a suit saying Abdul Rashid Shora was taking every opportunity to defame and lower their reputations by levelling false and frivolous allegations, including calling them “anti-national elements”.

The court said:

“… defendant no. 1 (Abdul Rashid Shora) is restrained from causing any interference in the life of the plaintiffs and shall abstain from publishing an material through media or other means which has the potential to cause harassment, agony and pain to the plaintiffs or which is defamatory in its nature. The defendants 2-8 (media outlets, social media companies) are also restrained from publishing, telecasting or broadcasting any mater with respect to the matrimonial life of the plaintiffs and defendant no. 1 or which has the potential to defame the plaintiffs. For this purpose, the defendant shall take steps to suspend the links … which contain contents causing harassment and defamation to the plaintiffs.”

The defendants include Abdul, certain media outlets, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google, Bar and Bench reported. The court said media outlets must not publish any personal material which could cause harassment, agony and pain to Shehla, or was defamatory.

The bench also said that details of private matrimonial disputes between Zubeida Akhter and Abdul Rashid Shora. “The media is also under a legal duty to ascertain the truth and abstain from reporting on a matter which has a potential of infringement of right to privacy or other rights of the plaintiff,” the court said, according to Bar and Bench.

Abdul’s conduct, the court said, appeared unjustified and without a sound legal basis.