Hyderabad, December 5: The Xth Junior Civil Judge of the City Civil Court, Nampally on Friday directed Rapido and YouTube to take down the advertisement starring Tollywood actor Allu Arjun that was allegedly defaming TSRTC.

The civil court restrained Rapido and its successors, directors, employees, servants, agents, and representatives from telecasting, broadcasting, streaming, reproducing, distributing, and making available to the public or communicating to the public the original and modified versions of the ad films, on their websites or through the internet in any manner. The commercial was defamatory to the bus services run by state-owned TSRTC.

App-based bike taxi aggregator Rapido has been restrained from telecasting and promoting a commercial against TSRTC, which was featured by Tollywood actor Allu Arjun, following a court order.

The Court also directed Google's online video sharing platform YouTube to block access to the original and modified version of the commercial video at the lines identified by the plaintiff.

For the past month, Rapido has been widely airing ads in which actor Allu Arjun was seen suggesting that it is uncomfortable and dangerous to travel in TSRTC buses by directly showing a TSRTC bus which was hired by Rapido for the commercial.

Upon being issued a notice by TSRTC, Rapido slightly modified the ad films but continued to display the TSRTC bus.

Since they refused to stop airing the ads on various channels and YouTube, TSRTC approached the Court for relief.

Senior Counsel Sri K. Vivek Reddy appeared for TSRTC and argued that while Rapido was surely entitled to promote its services, it cannot do so by making defamatory statements about TSRTC & public transport. He contended that TSRTC is a responsible state-run corporation that takes several precautions for the safety of its passengers and it is against the law to make such false and demeaning statements about it.

Following which the Court has directed Rapido to stop airing the defamatory ad films and also directed YouTube to remove the defamatory ad films from its platform.

Anybody who is found to be flouting the said orders is liable to be prosecuted, said the court. The court also advised everyone to maintain restraint in the light of the court order.

"Further, I appeal to the general public to strengthen TSRTC which is a State-run decades-old corporation serving the transportation needs of lakhs of people each day. It is our social asset and everyone should own it up as their own and help maintain its smooth functioning and not defame it in any manner whatsoever," added MD Sajjanar.

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