The Karnataka High Court on Friday set aside a gag order by a lower court on media in the defamation case filed by BJP's Bengaluru South candidate Tejasvi Surya.
Tejasvi Surya had obtained the gag order against 49 media outlets, including newspapers, television channels, and social media platforms, which barred them from posting defamatory statements against him.
The ruling BJP's move last month of announcing 28-year-old lawyer Tejasvi Surya's name as the party's candidate from Bengaluru South had come as a surprise. The party denied ticket to Tejaswini Ananth Kumar, widow of former union minister Ananth Kumar, who was earlier the sitting lawmaker from the constituency.
Tejasvi Surya's Twitter timeline turned out to be a display case of controversial posts over the years, attracting media scrutiny.
After obtaining the media gag order from a lower court in Karnataka, Tejasvi Surya had said he does not regret his old tweets. "On some (social media posts) I may have changed, some I may not have. It depends on the context. We evolve, we grow up, that's why we are human. We are not static, born perfect creatures," he said, summing it up as a "learning experience".
The High Court on Friday, putting aside the temporary injunction order, said Tejasvi could approach the Election Commission if any reports against him were defamatory.
While hearing a petition filed by a group called the Democratic Reforms Organisation, an NGO, the High Court said "voters had a right to know about their candidates". The defendants are not prevented from publishing or telecasting any news item which is not defamatory in their opinion, the court said.
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