Karnataka HC lifts media gag order on Tejasvi Surya

Tejasvi Surya is BJP's South Bangalore candidate

A DIVISION bench of the Karnataka High Court on Friday effectively lifted a March 29 media gag order passed by a city civil court against the publishing of "false, malicious and derogatory" news about BJP youth leader and Bangalore South Lok Sabha candidate Tejasvi Surya.

The gag order brought against 49 media outlets by Tejasvi Surya over apprehension of the publication of defamatory material was challenged in the High Court by the Association for Democratic Reform (ADR). "The gag order has been lifted," said Prof Trilochan Sastry of ADR. "An order has been passed but we are yet to get the copy," ADR advocate Harish Narasappa said.

"The court has said that no defamatory articles should be published. It has said that the Election Commision can be approached if defamatory articles are published. The court has not set aside the March 29 order of the civil court," Surya's advocate Ashok Haranahalli said.

Surya, 28, obtained a temporary injunction from the city civil and sessions court in Bengaluru following emergence of personal allegations against him on social media.

Based on the order of the city civil judge, Surya's advocates issued notices to media organisations on March 29 stating, "You are not at liberty to publish any scandalous and defamatory statements or any fake news as against our client". The ADR filed a PIL in the High Court challenging the March 29 order of the civil judge.