SC seeks response from Centre, states on Twitter India’s plea against multiple FIRs

The Supreme Court has issued notices to the Centre and several states on a petition filed by Twitter Communications India Pvt Ltd urging it to quash multiple FIRs registered against it for allegedly promoting a tweet on ‘Khalistan’.

A bench headed by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde had on December 17 sought responses from the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, governments of Karnataka, Assam, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha and the Police Commissioner of Delhi.

The apex court also issued notices to the complainants, who have registered criminal complaints against the social media giant. Notice was also issued to one Vinit Goenka, a BJP functionary, who had alleged the firm had taken financial consideration to promote the alleged tweet.

Twitter India, in its plea, had said in the past months, Goenka and his supporters have held webinars asking for Twitter to be declared a terrorist organisation, for its officers to be charged with sedition and to encourage a mass filing of cases against Twitter and its employees.

Senior advocate Sajjan Poovayya, who appeared for Twitter India, contended that there cannot be multiple FIRs for one incident and sought directions to quash them.

Poovayya said Twitter India has no control over the content on the Twitter website and that the same is monitored by the Twitter Inc based in the USA.

Multiple FIRs were filed against Twitter Inc in eight states for allegedly promoting the tweet of one Gurpatwant Singh Pannum on ‘Khalistan’. Pannum had reportedly tweeted a Twitter poll on “whether India should recognize Khalistan’2020.”

Twitter Inc has further sought clubbing of the FIRs for conducting the trial in one lower court as done in the case of Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami.

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