Delhi High Court orders Telegram to disclose identities of channel operators sharing Dainik Jagran ePapers sans authorisation

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The Delhi High Court recently ordered messaging platforming Telegram to disclose the identities of users or owners of channels who were unauthorizedly sharing Dainik Jagran ePapers [Jagran Prakashan Limited v. Telegram FZ LLC & Ors].

Justice Navin Chawla gave Telegram the liberty to furnish the information in a sealed cover, noting that the issue is no longer in dispute following the High Court’s order in Neetu Singh & Anr v. Telegram FZ LLC & Ors.

In that order, the Court had held that Telegram has to adhere to Indian law and disclose details like IP addresses, mobile numbers and devices used in operating channels involved in copyright infringement, if ordered to do so by Indian courts.

“In view of the above, the defendant no.1 (Telegram) 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 the defendant no. 1 in a sealed cover. On perusing the information, the Court shall consider if any further directions are required to be passed on the next date of hearing,” the Court said.

The matter will now be considered on March 27, 2023.

Justice Chawla was dealing with a 2020 suit filed by the Jagran Prakashan Limited Group contending that its ePapers can be accessed only after subscription, but were being made available for free on various Telegram channels.

The Court had passed an order in May 2020 directing Telegram to disclose the identities of the users and owners of the channels. However, Telegram said that though it has taken down the channels, there are certain issues in disclosing the identities since its rules do not allow the same, and that it did not have the information either.

Counsel appearing for Jagran informed the Court about the order passed by Justice Prathiba M Singh directing Telegram to disclose the identities of infringers in a similar case noting that just because its servers are in some other country does not mean that it will not comply with India law.

Advocate Jeevesh Mehta appeared for Jagran Prakashan Limited, while Advocates S Bansal, M Gupta and Vedant represented Telegram.

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