Ex-Coach of Hockey Team Restrained from Publishing Book

In an appeal by hockey player Gurjit Kaur in the case of Gurjit Kaur v. HarperCollins Publishers India Private Limited & Anr, the Delhi High Court passed an interim order restraining former head coach of the Indian National Hockey team, Sjoerd Marijne, and publishing company Harper Collins from printing any material regarding Ms. Kaur’s medical condition. 

Earlier, a single-judge bench had rejected Ms. Kaur’s contention that the book written by Mr. Sjoerd was violating her right to privacy and confidentiality. The division bench disagreed with the earlier order, stating that Mr. Sjoerd was “clearly and unequivocally” bound by the code of conduct in his role as coach of the National Women’s Hockey Team.

The Appellant disclosed the information in confidence and Mr. Sjoerd could not exploit the same for his personal or commercial gain.

The Court further held that protection of medical information was an important aspect of the Appellant’s personal data and that Ms. Kaur was reasonable in expecting her medical condition to remain confidential. Recognizing the duty of care Mr. Sjoerd owed to Ms. Kaur in the above scenario, the Court restrained the former head coach from publishing his book.