Twitter India MD case: Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the UP government, made the submission that there was “a question of law that needed examination”.
- A video was circulated earlier this year in which a person identified as Abdul Shamad Saifi alleged that he was forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ by some men on June 5
- The police had rejected the request of Twitter India officials to conduct the questioning via video conferencing
The Supreme Court of India on Friday issued a fresh notice to former Twitter India managing director Manish Maheshwari based on a petition filed by the Uttar Pradesh government challenging the Karnataka High Court order that had quashed the notice of personal appearance on the individual in a case pertaining to the sharing of communally-sensitive video on the micro-blogging platform.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the UP government, made the submission that there was “a question of law that needed examination and for the time being ignore the reason why the summon was issued”.
He said that the question today is about the territorial jurisdiction of the High Court.
“We will issue notice…will hear the matter in detail,” an SC bench, headed by Chief Justice NV Ramana, said.
Senior advocates Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Sidharth Luthra appeared for Maheshwari.
Chronology of events:
- A video was circulated earlier this year in which an elderly person, identified as Abdul Shamad Saifi, alleged that he was physically assaulted by some men who forced him to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ on June 5. The police claimed that Saifi had not made any such allegations in his FIR lodged on June 7.
- The police noted that the video was circulated with the intention of inciting communal disgruntlement.
- On June 15, the Ghaziabad police booked Twitter Inc, Twitter Communications India, The Wire, journalists Mohammed Zubair and Rana Ayyub, Congress leaders Salman Nizami, Maskoor Usmani, Shama Mohamed and writer Saba Naqvi.
- The police rejected the request of Twitter India officials to conduct the questioning via video conferencing.
- The accused were reportedly unhappy with the amulets sold to them by Saifi, a resident of UP’s Bulandshahr district. The police ruled out the communal angle. The Ghaziabad Police then issued a statement with the facts of the incident. But, the accused had still not removed the video from their Twitter accounts.
- The Ghaziabad police issued notice to Maheshwari, asking him to appear before the police in Loni for questioning in the probe.
- The Karnataka High Court granted Maheshwari protection on June 24 against the FIR lodged by Loni Police.
- The Uttar Pradesh government filed a special leave petition in the Supreme Court challenging the HC order. Maheshwari too had filed a caveat in the apex court seeking a hearing before an order was passed.
- On September 8, Mehta told the SC that the HC had “interfered” with the summons issued to the former Twitter MD by UP Police.
- Maheshwari was transferred to the United States in August as a senior director in Twitter’s revenue strategy and operations department.