Battle Between Twitter India And UP Police Turns To New Twists : A Sneak Preview

The legal battle between Social Media platform Twitter and Uttar Pradesh Police authorities turning to new twists in the tale. Twitter India chief Manish Maheshwari has told the Karnataka High Court he is ready to appear before police in Uttar Pradesh within 24 hours – for questioning over tweets about the assault of a Muslim man in Ghaziabad – so long as they provide an undertaking that he will not be arrested. “If UP Police gives an undertaking to the court that they will not arrest me, I am ready to appear before the police in Ghaziabad within 24 hours,” his lawyer told the court on Tuesday afternoon.

Mr Manish Maheshwari pointed out he had made himself available for questioning through video conferencing. Uttar Pradesh Police had turned down the offer and insisted he appear in person. UP Police – which last month sent Mr Maheshwari notice under a legal provision clarified to court: “We don’t want to arrest.. Manish Maheshwari was summoned only as a representative of Twitter. Nothing more… nothing less… All we want to know is who is the in-charge of Twitter in India…,” UP Police added.

The court which last month told the police “at least prima facie you should show he is responsible” An unconvinced court mentioned: “When you make an allegation against someone for omission or commission, that must be mentioned. Is there anything to show omission by Twitter India? Is it capable of removing content? Twitter is run by Twitter, Inc., based in the USA. This is not a secret guarded under Official Secrets Act. This is not rocket science. On what basis are you saying Twitter India is responsible for not deleting tweets about the Ghaziabad case”

Manish Maheshwari – a resident of Bengaluru –  was given temporary protection from arrest by UP police last month. The court also said Mr Maheshwari who has been charged with intent to riot, promoting enmity and criminal conspiracy charges did not have to travel to UP for investigations. An FIR was filed against Twitter India and its chief earlier after publishing a tweet about an elderly man – Abdul Samad who was allegedly thrashed by some others and forced to chant “Jai Sri Ram” and “Vande Mataram“.


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