White Hat Jr Takes Back Defamation Suit Against Pradeep Poonia: Big Win For Justice?
According to critic Pradeep Poonia, ed-tech firm WhiteHat Jr has agreed to drop the $2.6 million defamation suit against him. Last November, a BYJU-owned firm sent a legal notice to Poonia, who used the Twitter handle WhiteHatSnr, for “Infringement of Licensed and Unregistered Trademarks.”
Systematic And Extremely Defamatory Attack
Poonia reportedly made defamatory remarks about WhiteHat Jr on social media and in news stories. This has prompted the filing of the lawsuit by WhiteHatJr.
Poonia began his defamation spree in early September with his comments on WhiteHat Jr’s ads about a fictional character named “Wolf Gupta,” a teenager who landed a job at Google, according to the notice.
Poonia alleged that WhiteHat Jr had “murdered” Wolf Gupta after the company had removed references to him from its advertisements, which was one of the instances of defamation cited by WhiteHat Jr in the notice obtained by Inc42.
WhiteHat Jr had already received a deletion notice for some of Poonia’s tweets, which he had followed. Poonia was also accused of launching a “systematic and extremely defamatory attack” against the firm, including “blatantly unlawful actions and then making wild and false claims against the Plaintiffs,” according to the notice.
Poonia was also accused of patent infringement, handing off and dilution of trademarks, copyright infringement, and torts of causing the breach of contract by WhiteHat Jr, who was represented by Fidus Law Chambers.
Poonia had violated the Trade Marks Act of 1999, the Copyright Act of 1957, and the Code of Civil Procedure of 1908, according to a defamation notice obtained by Inc42.
Aside from that, the software developer was accused of mischief and violation of the company’s and its employees’ privacy.
Poonia allegedly hacked into WhiteHat Jr’s internal business messaging network, SLACK, to gain access to sensitive employee communications, including communications with parents (customers), and publish them in the public domain, according to WhiteHat Jr.
The Interim Verdict Regarding The Matter
Poonia was barred from uploading any curriculum from WhiteHat Jr and distributing it to third parties by the Delhi high court in an interim ruling issued just two days after the notice was issued.
He was also forbidden from commenting on the number or standard of WhiteHat Jr teachers, as well as on their educational or other professional histories.
The high court has also ordered that the relevant URLs associated with his YouTube username, Pradeep Poonia 3.0, be removed. Since then, the case has been pending in the Delhi high court, with the most recent hearing scheduled for April 9, 2021.
WhiteHat Jr also filed a defamation suit for $1.9 million against angel investor Aniruddha Malpani. She was also barred from LinkedIn for criticising BYJU’S.
Malpani also violated the Trade Marks Act of 1999 as well as the Code of Civil Procedure of 1908.