An Andhra Court on Wednesday, 22 February directed the leftist propaganda portal The Wire to take down 14 articles which were published by it against Indian drug making company Bharat Biotech and the COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin which was produced by the pharmaceutical company.
Bharat Biotech filed a defamatory case against the portal and 12 people associated with it and had filed a ₹100 crore defamation suit.
Senior Advocate Vivek Reddy, appearing for the pharmaceutical company claimed that the news portal had published articles against Bharat Biotech and Covaxin which contained false information and allegations, with malicious intent to undermine the reputation of the drug making company.
“Bharat Biotech had previously developed vaccines for Tuberculosis, Zika Rotavirus, Chikungunya and Typhoid and received national and global recognition and has now collaborated with leading Government of India institutions to develop the COVID-19 vaccine. The Wire published a series of articles making false allegations on authorisation and approvals of Covaxin without checking the facts.”
The court observed that the news portal published defamatory articles against the company even after the government approved the vaccine. The published articles could even lead to vaccine hesitancy therefore, it is necessary to stop publishing articles against the pharmaceutical company.
The court ordered The Wire to remove the articles from their website within 48 hours. The court also restrained the portal form publishing any defamatory articles targeting Bharat Biotech and Covaxin.
The order mentions the name of the founding editors of The Wire, Siddharth Vardarajan, SR Bhatia, MK Venu and others.