WhiteHat Jr’s CEO files $2.6 Mn defamation suit against software engineer Pradeep Poonia

BYJU’s-owned online coding platform WhiteHat Jr’s CEO and founder Karan Bajaj, on Saturday (November 21), filed an INR 20 Cr ($2.6 Mn) defamation case against software engineer Pradeep Poonia, who maintains an alias, WhiteHatSnr on Twitter.

Poonia will have to present himself in Delhi high court on Monday (November 23, 2020) in this matter. The defamation notice sent to Poonia, accessed by Inc42, has highlighted that the defendant was in violation of the Trade Marks Act of 199, The Copyright Act of 1957 and Code of Civil Procedure of 1908. The case has been filed under “Infringement of Registered and Unregistered Trademarks.”


The company, WhiteHat Jr & Anr represented by Fidus Law Chambers, has accused the defendant of trademark infringement, passing off and dilution of trademarks, copyright infringement, and the infringement of the clauses in a contract. Besides this, Poonia has also been accused of mischief as also an invasion of the privacy of the company and its employees.

The notice specified that Poonia started this defamation avalanche in early September by shaming and targeting on WhiteHat Jr’s advertisements concerning an imaginary child “Wolf Gupta”, a teen who landed a job in Google. “The Defendant’s posts quickly turned sinister subsequent to the withdrawal of the advertisements, with the defendant claiming that Plaintiff No.1 [WhiteHat Jr] had “murdered” Wolf Gupta,” the notice read.

WhiteHat Jr had also issued a takedown notice against Poonia. But soon Poonia allegedly designed a “systematic and highly defamatory attack” against the WhiteHat Jr “even resorting to acts which are brazenly illegal and thereafter making wild and baseless  allegations against the Plaintiffs.” The company has also accused Poonia of hacking into WhiteHat Jr’s internal business communications platform, SLACK, to access confidential employee communications, including communications with parents (customers) and put them up in the public domain.

The development comes after coding for kids’ platform Tekie accused WhiteHat Jr. of using unethical tactics to understand and replicate their model of teaching. Tekie cofounder Naman Mukund alleged that an employee of WhiteHat Jr, mimicked a grade six student’s persona to attend Tekie’s trial class. “We encountered a suspicious session, where the student had their camera turned off, and the voice from their side sounded almost like a 30-year-old adult,” Naman Mukund, cofounder of Tekie said in a Linkedin post.