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News Roundup: WhiteHat Jr Vs whiteHatSnr Vs Malpani’s Legal Tussles & More

News Roundup: WhiteHat Jr Vs whiteHatSnr Vs Malpani’s Legal Tussles & More

WhiteHat Jr filed a defamation lawsuit of INR 20 Cr and INR 14 Cr against software engineer Pradeep Poonia and angel investor Aniruddha Malpani

India bans 43 more Chinese apps, including AliExpress, Snack Video (TikTok clone), MangoTV and others

Google is in advanced talks to buy out social media platform ShareChat for $1.03 Bn

This week, the Delhi high court summoned Pradeep Poonia, a software engineer, who also goes by the name whiteHatSnr on Twitter after BYJU’S-owned online coding platform WhiteHat Jr’s founder and CEO Karan Baja, on Saturday (November 21), filed an INR 20 Cr ($2.6 Mn) defamation case against him.  

Accordingly, the Delhi HC heard the matter on Monday (November 23) and gave a restraining order to Ponnia from downloading any curriculum from WhiteHat Jr and accused him of illegally circulating it to third-party service providers. Also, he has been restrained from commenting on the number or quality of teachers at WhiteHat Jr, their educational and other professional backgrounds of teachers. 

On a defamation spree, WhiteHat Jr filed another defamation case against angel investor and industry thought leader Aniruddha Malpani, suing INR 14 Cr ($1.9 Mn) for allegedly criticising edtech unicron BYJU’S, seeking a permanent injunction restraining defamation, infringement of trademarks, unfair competition, managers and more. 

The legal notice highlighted that Malpani was in violation of the Trade Marks Act of 1999 and the Code of Civil Procedure of 1908.

The Delhi high court, on Tuesday (November 24), passed an interim order against Malpani from posting or publishing or sharing any derogatory content or deprecatory against WhiteHat Jr on its content or management. 

Further, the court has directed Malpani to take down select Tweets made by him. Just Mukta Gupta, upon hearing the case, stated that there was no trademark infringement with Malpani unlike in Poonia’s case, who has used a handle termed whiteHatSnr

Malpani, now has given time till January 14, 2021, to send a written response in the matter, as sought by the Delhi HC. 

Amid these legal tussles, the cybersecurity researcher, anonymously, revealed that personal data of 2.8 Lakh students and teachers enrolled on WhiteHat Jr were exposed to data breach till mid-November this year, and the company is said to have reportedly fixed the vulnerability after it was brought to its notice, as reported by The Quint

However, it is still unclear whether any of the user data was compromised when the flaw had not been fixed. To this, WhiteHat Jr told Inc42 that it has reviewed its setup and patched the identified vulnerabilities. 

“We always stove to improve our customer experience and performance of the application, and to support this we use various industry-validated tools and software.” 

Other News 

  1. After banning 59 Chinese mobile apps on June 28, 2020, and 118 apps on September 2, 2020, under section 69A of the Information Technology Act, the government of India on Tuesday (November 24), banned 43 more Chinese mobile apps for the very same reason. Some of the notable apps in the recent Chinese app ban scene include AliExpress, Snack Video (TikTok clone), MangoTV and others. The Republic of China cries foul play and says that the move violates the rules of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). 
  2. At the same time, one of the earlier banned Chinese gaming app PUBG was speculated to relaunch its game in India as PUBG Mobile. On its website, the Indian-specific version of the game, seems to be teasing fans by displaying a download button for the game’s APK version. But, now the website seems to be inactive. The government also clarified that it is highly unlikely that PUBG is going to re-enter Indian market anytime soon. 
  3. On a speculative note, the tech giant Google is in advanced talks to buy out Bengaluru-based social media platform ShareChat for $1.03 Bn. This comes at a time, where ShareChat recorded a 166% spike in its monthly active user base from 60 Mn during the pandemic times to 160 Mn, shared CTO Bhanu Pratap Singh, stating that the average time spent by the user has increased from 24 minutes to 31 minutes.  
  4. The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) recently announced that it has completed the process of a private placement of 4.63% of its equity shares worth INR 81.64 Cr, in a move to diversify and distribute its shareholding to a large set of the RBI regulated entities. The NPCI has onboarded new stakeholders, including Amazon Pay, PhonePe, Paytm Payments Bank and PhonePe. Besides these new-age entities, NPCI has also added Standard Chartered Bank, Dhanlaxmi Bank and IDFC First Bank. 
  5. In an on-going legal heat between Kishore Biyani-led Future Retail Ltd (FRL) and ecommerce giant Amazon takes a new twist, where FRL has accused Amazon of adopting a media strategy of having every development reported and converted into a line of communication with stock exchanges. 

This latest development comes after the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) had reportedly turned down FRL’s plea that it be excluded from being a party to the Amazon-Future Coupons arbitration proceedings. 

At the same time, India’s National Stock Exchange (NSE) has also warned FRL for taking risky regulatory action for not making timely market disclosures about efforts by Amazon to block a disputed asset sale. 

Stay tuned for next week’s edition of News Roundup.