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Delhi HC Directed Instant Messaging App ‘Telegram’ to Disclose Identity of Users Sharing Dainik Jagran’s ePaper

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Akansha Upadhyay

Published on – 26 November 2022 at 20:09 IST

The Delhi High Court has directed instant messaging app Telegram to comply with a 2020 order directing it to block unauthorized uploading and sharing of Dainik Jagran newspaper e-paper in PDF on its channels.

Justice Mukta Gupta was dealing the issue regarding disclosure basic customer information of users.

The bench said that the November 23 order, “In view of the above, respondent No.1 shall comply with the direction issued by this Court vide order dated 29.05.2020 within a period of three weeks from today. The information may be disclosed by respondent No.1 in sealed cover.” 

The court said that after perusing the information, it will consider whether any further directions are required on the next date of hearing. 

Jagran Prakashan Limited, the media conglomerate that owns the Hindi newspaper Dainik Jagran, filed a lawsuit in 2020 stating that its e-paper, which can be accessed only after subscription, was being published as a PDF on various channels on Telegram is being made available free of cost.

It argued that Telegram cannot escape its liability on the grounds that it is an intermediary, and should pull down the channels.

Justice Mukta Gupta ordered Telegram on 29 May 2020 to disclose the identity of users or owners of channels alleged by the media group in its suit. In December 2020, Jagran Prakashan filed an application stating that Telegram had not complied with the directive.

In November 2021, Telegram told the court that the channels have been removed, but “issued certain guidelines” for users/owners of channels to disclose original subscriber information/identity.  The messaging app said neither the rules allow it nor they have the requisite information.

The court was informed about the judgement delivered by Justice Prathiba M Singh on August 30.

Justice Singh in Neetu Singh ruled that “…in the opinion of this Court, merely because Telegram chooses to locate its server in Singapore, the same cannot result in the Plaintiffs – who are copyright owners of course materials – being left completely remediless against the actual infringers, especially in order to claim damages and avail of other legal remedies in accordance with law”.

The next hearing is listed for March 27, 2023.