Shimla: American information technology company Yahoo Inc. known as Yahoo, tendered an apology in a court here and agreed to pay Rs 2 lakh compensation for wrongly using a picture of students from Himachal Pradesh University in news story published on 16th February, 2016 about students raising seditious slogans.
Two students belonging to the communist outfit Students Federation of India from the university had registered a police case under section 505 (2) of the Indian Penal Code against Yahoo for putting out a picture of the university students in an article ‘Now Jadavpur Varsity Students raise pro-Afzal and Azadi Slogans’ published online on 16th February.
The story appeared on the home page of Yahoo.co.in where the picture of HPU students was used to show students raising anti-national slogans in support of Afzal Guru in West Bengal.
The students in their police complaint had charged Yahoo with having defamed them and made them to appear as anti-national before a wide Indian audience.
Accepting that the story with the picture was published on its website before Justice Rajiv Sharma at the High Court here, counsel for Yahoo said that the organisation had a licensing arrangement with news agencies for publishing news on its websites.
Randeep Singh Rai, counsel for Yahoo had argued that registration of an FIR was bad in law and in contravention of section 196 provisions of CrPC.
On the condition of tendering an apology and paying the petitioner students a compensation of Rs 1 lakh each, the judge asked for dropping of any charges made in the police complaint against Yahoo.
Yahoo was asked to deposit Rs 2 lakhs before the court registry in a week.
Mohan Verma is a seasoned journalist, with more than a decade of experience of active reporting for news agencies and fast paced online media.