In recent days there has been a lot of chatter online about WhiteHat Jr and its parent company, Byju's. Critics have slammed the edu-tech startup for their social media advertisements, their teaching methodology and more. Among them, Pradeep Poonia, a software engineer has emerged as a prominent voice, repeatedly calling the company out.
He alleges that there have been repeated efforts to silence his comments. "WhiteHat Jr and Byju's are misusing their position, for more than a month I have been trying to post about WhiteHatJr. On whichever platform I go to, either my accounts get suspended or my posts get deleted," he had written in a LinkedIn blog. According to Poonia, he had had multiple accounts on Reddit, Twitter, YouTube and Quura suspended temporarily or permanently. Many of his videos had also been removed.
While some of Poonia's allegations and questions pertain to the company's credentials and strategy others centred around the identify of Wolf Gupta - a purported 13-year-old boy who holds a multi-million dollar job with Google. Many on the internet have been alleging for some time now that the boy is fictitious.
More recently, the company came down heavily on Poonia after he made disparaging comments about the teachers on the platform and commented on their educational or other professional background. Tweets wherein he had called them "housewives" provoked a sharp reaction from the company which slapped Poonia with a Rs 20 crore defamation suit.
On Monday, the case was heard by a single judge bench of Justice Mukta Gupta and the Delhi High Court came down heavily on Poonia over his comments. According to a LiveLaw report, the judge has granted ad-interim injunction to WhiteHat Jr and founder Karan Bajaj against Pradeep Poonia, restraining him from commenting on the number or quality of teachers of WhiteHat Jr.
The court said that Poonia should restrain himself to healthy discussion about the nature of the company's work, adding that disparaging claims against their teachers without having sufficient information was malicious and defamatory. The court also rapped him over allegations that he had doxed the teachers.
He has been directed to take down specific tweets regarding these topics as well as allegations that WhiteHat was a pyramid scheme and so on. He has also been restrained from hacking or unauthorizedly accessing internal communiques between company employees on his YouTube channel. Such videos will now have to be taken down.