Re-tweets can land you in a defamation suit: Supreme Court
The Supreme Court has observed that a re-tweet can be defamatory. The observation was made by the Supreme Court while rejecting a plea filed by AAP leader Raghav Chadda.
Chadda had challenged the trial against him in the Rs 10 crore defamation case filed by Union Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley. Chadda had claimed that there is no law making a re-tweet defamatory.
Chadda, through his counsel, argued that he had been summoned by the trial court when there was no law to prosecute a re-tweet.
There is no law and no ruling by any court in the world declaring that re-tweet of a tweet amounts to publication of defamatory material which could be liable for prosecution, he contended.
A Bench headed by Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra disagreed with the argument. The Bench said, " take for example a tweet which is derogatory, abusive or contains pornographic material. Can the one who re-tweets it say he has only re-tweeted the material and is not the author of it and hence should not face prosecution?"
Can one who re-tweets say he was not aware of the contents of the tweet even if it were highly defamatory or pornographic? Can the petitioner go on defaming people, the court further sought to know.