Propaganda portal ‘The Wire’ employed on the payrolls of ‘Big Pharma’ to write, publish and propagate malicious and factually incorrect stories against indigenous vaccine makers has got a rude shocker from a Telangana Court. Hearing a defamation suit for Rs 100 crore filed by Bharat Biotech against the website, the Ranga Reddy District Court in Hyderabad on Wednesday ordered the fake new portal to take down 14 articles it had published on its website within 48 hours.
Furthermore, according to Bar and Bench, the Court ordered The Wire, its editor Siddharth Vardarajan and the others named in the suit from publishing any defamatory articles relating to Bharat Biotech.
[BREAKING] In a 100 CRORE defamation case filed by BHARAT BIOTECH, Andhra Court ordered taking down of 14 articles on @thewire_in and restrained
2) Siddharth Vardarajan
3) SR Bhatia
4) M.K. Venu &others
— Bar & Bench (@barandbench) February 23, 2022
Senior Counsel K. Vivek Reddy, appearing for the Petitioner/Plaintiff Bharat Biotech argued that the news portal continued to publish articles laden with false allegations, even when the Government of India, after a rigorous process, had passed the vaccine.
Reddy informed the court, “The Wire published several articles making false statements without proper fact check about the regulatory approvals granted to Bharat Biotech. Even after the Government of India had approved the vaccine, articles continued to be published otherwise on The Wire.”
The Wire’s articles can contribute to vaccine hesitancy: Court
The court noted Reddy’s argument and observed that Bharat Biotech was the only company developing and manufacturing vaccines for inoculation of children between 15 to 18 years in India. Thus, allowing The Wire to publish its defamatory articles may have contributed to vaccine hesitancy.
Reddy further asked the court to take decisive action at the earliest. While the portal has been directed to delete the articles, the final fate of the defamation suit may be decided on the next hearing, scheduled for next month i.e. March 16.
Vardarajan calls court’s decision ‘bullying’
However, despite the Court ordering The Wire to tame its tendency of spreading fake news, its founder Siddharth Vardarajan took to Twitter to show a false sense of bravado which unwittingly can be held in contempt of court.
Vardarajan tweeted, “So 14 deeply reported Covaxin stories— published over a year—ordered to be taken down by a local court with no notice served on The Wire, no chance given for us to refute whatever false claims Bharat Biotech has made against us! Let me say this — BB’s bullying will not work.”
So 14 deeply reported #Covaxin stories— published over a year—ordered to be taken down by a local AP court with no notice served on @TheWire_in, no chance given for us to refute whatever false claims @BharatBiotech has made against us!
Let me say this—BB’s bullying will not work https://t.co/Kcd8f8hn3V
— Siddharth (@svaradarajan) February 23, 2022
Bharat biotech had fact-checked The Wire
As reported by TFI, to expose the news portals that had been propagating fake news against the Indian companies as well as the Indian government, Bharat Biotech had published a thorough fact check last month which cleared the clutter.
— BharatBiotech (@BharatBiotech) January 5, 2022
The Wire, in association with Gagandeep Kang — a Professor in the Department of Gastrointestinal Sciences at the Christian Medical College, Vellore, tried to defame Covaxin by arguing that there is no data on the immune response generated by the vaccine.
However, Bharat Biotech fact-checked The Wire and its ignoramus professor by stating that the immune response of Covaxin had been published in many peer-reviewed journals and submitted to regulatory authorities as well.
Ever since Bharat Biotech came up with its Covaxin vaccine, the foreign big media like Bloomberg, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Reuters on behalf of American pharmaceutical giants have started discrediting the Hyderabad-based company by running a concerted campaign. Propaganda portals like The Wire are a mere extension of the same, making their trade on the scraps of the big players.
While the opposition and media tried their best to create an anti-vaccine environment, the government kept its head down and steadily rolled out the jabs. Entire India owes a tremendous debt to Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute of India. Despite the kind of campaign the fake liberals of the country orchestrated, a majority of us want to thank the two companies for their service. The court in its next hearing should impose the heavy fine on The Wire and set an example.