The court had previously issued an injunction preventing the UP police from taking coercive action against Maheshwari from Twitter India over the Ghaziabad viral video case.
Twitter India is not an intermediary under Section 79 of the IT Act and is therefore not responsible for compliance with the IT Act 2000 and Information Technology Rules 2021, Twitter India Managing Director attorney Manish Maheshwari said at a hearing in the Karnataka High Court.
At the same hearing, the Karnataka Supreme Court criticized the Uttar Pradesh police for non-affirmation of the ‘fundamental facts’ in the case of the Ghaziabad attack video, which identified both Twitter Inc and Twitter India as defendants. UP police insisted on Maheshwari appearing at the police station as part of their investigation into the post in the case of the Ghaziabad attack.
Justice G Narender’s bank single judges recognized that Twitter Inc and Twitter India were separate entities. and asks whether the latter is “able to remove the content”. The bank also noted that Maheshwari had stated that Twitter India has no control over the content on the platform.
UP police issued a notice in accordance with Sec 160 CrPC; he (Maheshwari) replied that he had no control over the content and pleaded incompetence. Did you even determine whether Twitter India was able to control the content? – Justice G Narender
Justice Narender criticized UP Police Attorney Prasanna Kumar for unsatisfactory answers when questioned on this matter. “Unless you can show that Maheshwari was the one who uploaded or did not remove the content, he is nobody,” the judge said.
background: The content in question is a viral video of an elderly Muslim man who was attacked on June 5 in the Loni district of Ghaziabad. While many on social media said the attack was communal in nature, Ghaziabad police claimed it was not. and it asked Twitter to remove such content. Loni Border Police then registered an FIR against some people who uploaded the video, as well as Twitter Inc and Twitter India for allegedly failing to remove the content despite a “clarification” issued by Ghaziabad Police. In this regard, under Section 150 of the CRPC and Section 41A, respectively, the police sent two messages to Manish Maheshwari on Twitter asking him to appear in person for investigative purposes.
During Tuesday’s hearing, Judge G Narender asked, “What are the charges against Twitter India? There has to be substance to say Twitter India is able to remove it? How does the complainant connect Twitter India? “
“Did you decide on the face of it that Twitter India is responsible or in control to stop the action (delete the content)? Does Twitter even claim to be an intermediary? There was also no fundamental affirmation of facts here.
Who Says Twitter India Is A Mediator? In order for you to be able to comply with IT laws and rules, you have to be an intermediary. You cannot confirm this basic fact. The first notice was issued on June 17th, where are you now? ”- Justice Narender asked UP Police Advisor Prasanna Kumar,
Justice Narender then asked Twitter India attorney Maheshwari CV Nagesh if the company fell under Section 79 of the IT Act. Nagesh replied, “I am not an intermediary.”
What is Section 79 of the Information Technology Act 2000?
- The section Details on the indemnification of an intermediary in cases in which information, data or communication links of third parties are hosted on a platform
- It also applies if an intermediary is limited to granting access to a communication system via which information provided by third parties is transmitted, cached or hosted
- The provision does not apply if the agent conspired, supported, supported or caused the commission of the illegal act by threat, promise or in any other way.
- It also does not apply if, after receiving information that content on the platform is being used to commit the illegal act, fails to remove this material or block access to it
UP police have ulterior motives: Maheshwari’s lawyer
When Maheshwari’s petition was first heard by the Karnataka Supreme Court on June 24, Nagesh indicated that one of the Section 41A notices sent by the Loni Border Police Station required the police to arrest Maheshwari. He had questioned the applicability of such notification to his client when there was no substantiated complaint or suspicion against Maheshwari. gave. Section 41 A states that according to the regulation, a report can only be served if the police have a well-founded complaint or suspicion against a person.
Based on these accounts, the Supreme Court had temporarily exempted Maheshwari from any coercive measures taken by the UP police against him, but also insisted that the UP police continue their investigation and conduct the interview with Maheswari that they had been requesting virtually .
On Tuesday, Maheshwari’s attorney CV Nagesh pointed out that the interview has still not been conducted by UP police. “I am willing to cooperate via video conferencing. But they still don’t want me to appear on video – probably out of some ulterior motive. For the next 24 hours, I’ll be ready to show up on video or physically. But they (the UP police) have to undertake before this court that they will not attack me, ”he said.
These are the other important inputs from Nagesh –
- Uttar Pradesh was not empowered to issue a Sec 160 notice of the CrPC in Mumbai, Delhi or Bengaluru, alleging that this section violated his client’s fundamental rights.
- Although Twitter India has no control over Twitter users’ data, Maheshwari is willing to work with the Loni Border Police.
- Citing 305 (2) of the CrPC, Nagesh said that It is the company that is empowered to appoint company representatives in an investigation or proceeding, not the police.
- The The names of the three directors of Twitter India are readily available from the Registrar of Companies. Why was the notice sent to him?
- When UP Police’s attorney argued that Twitter India was liable under IT rules, Nagesh pointed out that in the FIR registered with Loni Border PS, the IT rules 2021 were not enforced.
FIR complains about non-compliance with IT regulations: the lawyer for the UP police
This is likely the first time a government agency has linked the lawsuit filed against Twitter India and Twitter Inc. to the social media company’s non-compliance with IT rules 2021; the last date to comply with the IT rules was May 26th. The Union Government has repeatedly stated that a major social media intermediary (SSMI) who does not comply with the rules will lose the indemnity under the IT Law 2000 and that compliance with the rules has been passed, several proceedings have been taken against Twitter and Manish Maheshwari of Twitter India booked for various alleged criminal offenses in connection with content published on the platform.
“The entire FIR deals with the non-compliance of the IT rules 2021 by Twitter in India. All we want is their collaboration. The company has a responsibility to the country, ”said Prasanna Kumar. He also affirmed that “the petitioner’s freedom is not compromised” in response to previous submissions from Nagesh regarding the applicability of the Section 41A Notice.
“The UP police just want to know who is responsible for Twitter in India. If they had disclosed this none of this would have happened, ”said Kumar, an attorney for the UP police.
Apart from that, Kumar also raised the question of the territorial jurisdiction of the case, saying that the FIR was registered in Ghaziabad and the notice was issued to an address in New Delhi. He also cited several judgments which showed that the petitioner’s place of residence did not play a role in determining the jurisdiction of a plea.