The Delhi High Court on Tuesday directed Right to Information activist Saket Gokhale to delete tweets questioning the source of income of former diplomat and Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri’s wife Lakshmi Puri to buy property in Switzerland, Bar and Bench reported.
The court was hearing a defamation suit filed by Lakshmi Puri against Gokhale, seeking damages to the tune of Rs 5 crore for his series of tweets raising questions about how she could have bought a house for 1.6 million Swiss Francs in Geneva in 2006 with her then income as a former Indian Foreign Service officer.
In his tweets posted last month, the activist had also tagged Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman, demanding an inquiry into the matter by the Enforcement Directorate.
During Tuesday’s hearing, Justice C Hari Shankar ordered Gokhale to take down his tweets within 24 hours of the order. In case Gokhale refused to do so, the High Court directed Twitter to remove them.
The judge also restrained the activist from posting any defamatory content against Puri and her husband on any platform.
Last week, the High Court had pulled up Gokhale for posting such tweets. “Before you throw mud at someone, you have to first do an entire due diligence exercise,” Justice Shankar observed.
Puri, who was the former assistant secretary general at the United Nations, in her suit said the tweets were maliciously motivated and factually incorrect. “He [Gokhale] knows everything,” her counsel said at the last hearing. “It is only an edifice created to blackmail me.”