Delhi High Court: Seeking Google’s Response On De-Indexing Of Publication In Right To B Forgotten Case

The Delhi High Court in the case ABC v. Union of India & Ors. observed wherein seeking removal of news articles related to a criminal case registered against him in 1999, the court seek response of Google as to whether de-indexing of publications can be done so that the said URLs do not show up on the search engine’s results.
The court also considered that the doctor who stood discharged in the criminal complaint and in view of the fact that it is not being clear if the original sessions court’s order is available on the internet.
The bench headed by Justice Prathiba M Singh in the case observed and has stated that let an affidavit be filed by Google as to whether de-indexation [of the URLs] can be done so that when the name of the petitioner is being searched, the URLs do not show up. Accordingly, let the affidavit be filed within two weeks.
The court also directed Union of India and the other respondents for filing their response to the petition.
In the present case, the petitioner being a doctor by profession is aggrieved by the articles published against him in 1999 which are currently available on online platforms of the publishers and Google search results.
It has been contended by the petitioner that although the petitioner has already been discharged in the FIR, the articles still remain in the public domain.
The court also placed Reliance in an order passed by the trial court on 04.08.2009, wherein it is contended that there are findings to the effect that there is no evidence of the petitioner having engaged in any of illegality.
Therefore, in the matter, the publications include British Medical Journal, The Lancet, iNCBI and Indian Paediatrics.
The petitioner in the case also relied on the ruling of Justice Singh’s in the case Jorawer Singh Mundy v. Union of India & Ors, wherein Google LLC and Google India Pvt. Ltd being directed to remove a judgment from their search results.
The court after considering the facts and circumstances of the case was of the view that the issue of de-indexing of content from google will have to be considered in the matter.
A notice has also been issued by the court to the publications in question after observing, prima facie, that they have to be impleaded as the party respondents in the matter.

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