ⓘ Featured image: WhiteHat Jr founder, Karan Bajaj (L); and Pradeep Poonia
As reported by various major Indian media houses, the Delhi High Court, on Monday granted an ad-interim injunction to WhiteHat Jr and its founder, Karan Bajaj – restraining Pradeep Poonia, a Bengaluru-based software engineer and YouTuber, who criticised BYJU’s owned WhiteHat Jr for its alleged malpractices and misleading advertisements.
Poonia created a digital portal under the name “WhiteHat Sr” with an aim to expose BYJU’s and WhiteHat Jr. For the past one month, Poonia has received around 16 takedown notices from YouTube for mocking Whitehat Jr’s online ads.
In the past two months alone WhiteHat Jr, which offers a platform to teaching coding to children from ages 6-18, has censored more than 20 pieces of content on YouTube, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and Twitter.
The court has reportedly ordered a halt on Poonia from publishing any communication and chats of WhiteHat Jr and its employees, which he allegedly obtained by hacking into the company’s internal communication channel, Slack. The court also ordered Poonia to remove specific URLs using “WhiteHat Sr”, his specific tweets commenting about the teachers and their qualification at WhiteHat Jr and restrained him from using “WhiteHat Sr” on Youtube.
After the order from the Delhi High Court, Poonia tweeted,
Lawsuit filed by WhiteHat Jr
Karan Bajaj, earlier filed an INR 20 crore defamation suit again Poonia, who has been consistently criticising WhiteHat Jr’s ads, and claiming their advertising as unethical. The lawsuit claims that Poonia has infringed the companies trademark, copyright and for breaching the privacy by hacking into the company’s internal communication channel. Bajaj also claimed that Poonia was trying to offer a curriculum similar to WhiteHat Jr’s for free.
Advocate Rajeshekhar Rao, representing WhiteHat Jr, in a tweet said,
“When you’re out to be a crusader, please remember that your freedom ends where my nose begins.”
On the other hand, Advocate Swathi Sukumar, representing Poonia, argued that there was no infringement of trademark as fair criticism falls under the exception of “parody”.
The court has asked Sukumar to explain how the present case uses “parody” as a defence in its reply.
WhiteHat Jr also sued Anirudh Malpani, a doctor and angel investor, for posting false and defamatory tweets which are causing severe damage to WhitHat Jr’s reputation and business through waging a systematic attack on WhiteHat Jr over social media.
WhiteHat Jr is facing abominable criticism from parents, activists and media – considering their advertising and offering misleading, and unethically backed with the examples of various renowned entrepreneurs including Tesla’s Elon Musk, Google’s Sundar Pichai and more.
The Advertising Council of India has also asked WhiteHat Jr to take down some of its advertisements.
Poonia has been given three weeks to file his reply and WhiteHat Jr has been granted two weeks post reply to file their rejoinder. The case will be heard next on 6 January.