Court orders The Wire to remove 14 articles against Bharat Biotech

A Telangana court has ordered left-wing propaganda portal The Wire to remove up to 14 articles it had published against Indian pharmaceutical company Bharat Biotech and the Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin it developed. The order was made after Bharat Biotech filed a defamation claim of Rs100 crore against The Wire and 12 associated individuals.

According to a report by legal portal Bar & Bench, the court also ordered The Wire, its editor Siddharth Vardarajan and others named in the lawsuit to publish any defamatory articles relating to Bharat Biotech.

The company argued in court that The Wire published articles containing false allegations against Bharat Biotech and COVAXIN. The company’s lead attorney, Vivek Reddy, said the portal published the reports with malicious intent to undermine Bharat Biotech’s reputation.

Reddy told the court that Bharat Biotech had previously developed vaccines against tuberculosis, rotavirus Zika, chikungunya and typhoid and had received national and global recognition and has now collaborated with key Indian government institutions to develop the vaccine. Covid-19. The company said The Wire published a series of articles making false claims about Covaxin’s clearance and approvals without verifying the facts.

Besides The Wire, the other defendants named in the case are Siddharth Varadarajan, Sidharth Bhatia, MK Bhanu, Neeta Sanghi, Vasudevan Mukunth, Shobhan Saxena, Florencia Costa, Prem Anand Murugan, Banjot Kaur, Priyanka Pulla, Seraj Ali and Jammi Nagaraj. Rao.

Responding to the arguments, the court noted that even after the government approved the vaccine, The Wire continued to publish reports against it. The court said that only Covaxin was approved for the 15-18 age group, but the portal still published reports that may cause vaccine hesitancy.

Therefore, the court ordered The Wire to remove the articles from its website within 48 hours and also barred them from publishing defamatory articles targeting Bharat Biotech and Covaxin.

Responding to the report, Siddharth Varadarajan alleged that a local court in Andhra Pradesh ordered the removal of the 14 articles without serving any notice on the portal. Calling the propaganda articles “deeply reported”, he claimed that no changes were made to them to refute the “false allegations” made by Bharat Biotech.

Ever since Indian pharma majors like Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute of India successfully developed and manufactured vaccines against Covid-19, left-wing liberals have launched a sustained attack on them. They advocated for supposedly “superior” vaccines made by US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, and spread vaccine hesitancy by publishing bogus reports of Indian-made vaccines.

Last month, Bharat Biotech fact-checked several outlets, including The Wire, for spreading lies against Covaxin. The company had refuted a Wire report published in December which claimed that there was currently no data available on the immune response generated by Covaxin. Bharat Biotech had stated that data on the immune response generated by Covaxin had been published in several reputable peer-reviewed international journals up to 2020 and 2021.

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