NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Monday restrained former coach of Indian women’s hockey team, Sjoerd Marijne and his book publisher from mentioning about the medical condition of celebrated national player Gurjit Kaur.
A bench of justices Siddharth Mridul and Amit Sharma reversed an order of a single judge and granted interim stay on a plea by Kaur challenging the release of the book.
HC said it was of the view that the author of the book, which is scheduled to be released on September 21, owes a “duty of care” to Kaur, who was under his charge as an international hockey player, at all relevant times. It restrained the publisher and Marijne from publishing the book or any other related matter so far as it relates to Kaur’s medical condition.
The bench said the assertion that Kaur’s teammates were privy to her medical condition also does not come to the aid of the publisher as prime facie they would be also bound by the code of conduct which evidently precludes them from disclosing or divulging the said information to third parties.
“In view of the foregoing, the publishers as well as the author arrayed as respondents 1 and 2 in the present appeal are restrained by an ad-interim injunction from publishing the subject book or any other matter incidental thereto or any other matter related to the subject book in so far as it relates to Gurjit Kaur’s medical condition,” the HC division bench said.
It observed the coach was bound by the code of conduct which clearly required him not to disclose information entrusted to him in confidence, inter alia, for personal gain or benefit or to damage the reputation of any person. In her plea Kaur complained that the former coach proposes to divulge certain confidential information about her medical condition in his book. She said it is in gross violation of the code of confidentiality by which the author was bound as the coach of the Indian hockey team. The publisher argued there can’t be any confidentiality of any sports personality in so far as it relates to the game and that there cannot be any reasonable expectation about it.
The counsel said the player’s medical information was already in public domain.
But HC underlined that the Supreme Court has held that the right to protection of data such as medical information is one that falls squarely within the domain of reasonable expectation paradigm. It said there was nothing to establish that the medical information contained in the book was or is in the public domain as yet.





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