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WhiteHat Jr drops Rs 20 cr defamation suit against critic Pradeep Poonia

Byju's-owned WhiteHat Jr had filed a defamation case against software engineer Poonia in Delhi High Court in November 2020 on charges of defaming and spreading misinformation about the start-up

Edtech start-up WhiteHat Jr has withdrawn its defamation suit worth Rs 20 crore against its critic Pradeep Poonia. The company has confirmed the action but did not divulge any further details in the matter. Poonia also confirmed the development in a social media post.

Byju's-owned WhiteHat Jr had filed a defamation case against software engineer Poonia in Delhi High Court in November 2020 on charges of defaming and spreading misinformation about the start-up. The Karan Bajaj-founded company had also blamed Poonia for infringing trademarks and copyright of properties owned by WhiteHat Jr by using a YouTube handle by the name of WhiteHat Sr.

The defamation suit was filed against Poonia's statements against Wolf Gupta, an imaginary character used by WhiteHat Jr in its marketing campaign. The advertisements showed Wolf Gupta landing a job with Google after learning coding from WhiteHat Jr. The company later removed Wolf Gupta from its advertisements. Poonia had also called the start-up's instructors "uneducated" and "housewives".

In its hearing last year, the high court had prohibited Poonia from telecasting or transmitting any information "received by hacking the WhiteHat Jr's servers" and refrain from helping people take down the content of WhiteHat Jr.

The court had also directed Poonia to stop using his social media handle WhiteHite Sr on YouTube and to take down specific URLs using this name. It had also directed to delete tweets posted on September 12, 2020, with defamatory comments on WhiteHat Jr instructors and on September 5, 2020, calling the company a pyramid scheme, along with several other tweets posted last year in September and October.

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