Bangalore court gags 40 media outlets and social media for BJP candidate in South Bangalore
A Bangalore court has granted an ex-parte injunction against 40 media houses at the behest of BJP's Tejasvi Surya.
A woman had made "MeToo" allegations against BJP candidate for South Bangalore, Tejasvi Surya, who was not known till his candidacy. Surya approached the court against the publications claiming that the allegations were made by people "jealous of his growing popularity" and trying to "tarnish his image" ahead of the upcoming elections.
The woman had alleged that Surya was a "Womaniser, abuser and woman-beater".
According to legal website Bar & Bench, the court has granted an ex-parte injunction against the publications saying that "The defendants are restrained from making defamatory statements against the plaintiff in any manner in electronic or printing media..."
Ex-parte means when the party against whom the injunction is being given is not present in court.
The list of 40 media outlets include TV stations and print publications of both vernacular and English language.
Surya is the general secretary of Karnataka BJP's youth wing. He was given the ticket instead of Tejasvini, the wife of deceased union minister and BJP leader Ananthkumar. Surya is the nephew of three-time Karnataka (BJP) MLA, Ravi Subramanya.
Lawyer and author Gautam Bhatia, known as an advocate of free speech, pointed out on social media that the court's order was open ended. Incidentally, the court had granted the injunction against social media outlets as well.
Several users on social media have referred to Surya as a misogynist.
The news portal, The News Minute, reported that it may be the first time that an election candidate in Karnataka had approached a court for a media gag. The article notes that Surya had made polarising comments in the past as well.