The Delhi High Court on Wednesday restrained former Indian hockey team coach Sjoerd Marijne from issuing any statements related to allegations levelled against captain Manpreet Singh in his book, saying they are prima facie defamatory.
The court also noted the submission of counsel for publishing house HarperCollins Publishers India Pvt Ltd that till pendency of the suit filed by Singh, they do not intend to publish the contentious portion of the manuscript.
After going through the concerned portion of the manuscript, Justice Amit Bansal said, “In my prima facie view, the statements made are on the face of it defamatory and injurious to the reputation and goodwill of plaintiff (Manpreet Singh).”
It said that a prima facie case is made out and the balance of convenience is in favour of Singh and against Marijne, whose book — ‘Will Power – The Inside Story of the Incredible Turnaround in Indian Women’s Hockey’ — is scheduled to be released on Wednesday.
The court said in the event that these statements come in the public domain, it will cause irreparable loss to Singh’s reputation.
“Consequently, till the next date of hearing, defendant no. 2 (Marijne) is restrained from issuing statements, interviews in relation to the statements as pointed out in the manuscript which are defamatory to the plaintiff,” the court said, listing the matter for further hearing on November 18.
The high court also allowed Singh’s counsel to write to a media house to take down an article giving details of Marijne’s allegations against Singh.
A division bench of the high court had on September 19 restrained Marijne and HarperCollins from publishing information about the medical condition of Gurjit Kaur, a celebrated player of the women’s hockey team.
The bench had said it was of the view that Marijne owed a “duty of care” to Kaur, who was in his charge as an international hockey player, at all relevant times.
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