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  • Group admin cannot be held liable for defamatory statements made by the group members: Delhi HC

    December 19, 2016

    A civil suit on defamation against an administrator of a social media group was dismissed by the Delhi High Court. The court was of the view that a group administrator cannot be held liable for any defamatory statements made by any of the group members.

    The judge stated that a group administrator is very similar to the manufacturer of a newsprint. Thus if an administrator of a group is made liable for defamation made by any member of the group, same should be the case with the manufacturer of newsprint in case any defamatory statements are made by the author.  

    In case of an online platform the creator of the group cannot be made responsible for the defamatory statements made by the other members of the group. The administrator of the group cannot stop a member of the group from posting any statements; hence the approval of the administrator is not required.

    In the present suit some members of Telegram and a Google group made defamatory statements and as a consequence the group administrators of the aforementioned groups were also made party to the suit.

    The court dismissed the suit on the grounds that the plaintiff’s submissions do not disclose any cause of action against the group administrator hence he cannot be made a party to the said suit.


    OUR TAKE

    The Delhi High Court rejection of the suit was justified as the group administrator has no control over the text being posted on the group by the other group members. Thus any action against the group administrator for the defamatory statements made by other group members is unreasonable hence rightly rejected by the court.


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