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SC issues notice to Twitter ex-India MD on UP govt plea

Twitter ex-India MD was summoned in connection with a probe into the video which went viral showing a Muslim elderly man being thrashed by some young men after he was forced to chant “Jai Shri Ram”. The police said the video was an attempt to incite communal violence.

SNS | New Delhi |

The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to former Twitter MD Manish Masheswari on a plea by Uttar Pradesh government challenging the Karnataka High Court order quashing notice of personal appearance.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Uttar Pradesh government, submitted that there was a question of law that needed examination and for the time being ignore the reason why summon was issued. Mehta added the question is about the territorial jurisdiction of the high court.

A bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana said: “We will issue notice…will hear the matter in detail.”

Senior advocates A.M. Singhvi and Sidharth Luthra appeared for Maheshwari.

On September 8, Mehta had submitted before the top court that the high court had interfered with the summons issued to the then Twitter MD by Uttar Pradesh Police.

The Uttar Pradesh government filed a special leave petition in the top court challenging the July 23 high court order, which quashed the notice as mala fide. Maheshwari had also filed a caveat in the top court seeking hearing before an order is passed in the matter.

The Ghaziabad police had issued notice to Maheshwari, asking him to appear at Loni Police Station for questioning in the investigation connected with the viral video of the assault on an elderly Muslim man Abdul Shamad Saifi who was allegedly thrashed by some young men after he was forced to chant “Jai Shri Ram” on 5 June. The police claim was video was shared to incite communal violence and said that Saifi didn’t make any allegation regarding forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ in his FIR on 7 June.

The Karnataka High Court on June 24 granted protection to Maheshwari in an FIR lodged by the Loni Police in Ghaziabad.

On 15 June, the Ghaziabad police had booked Twitter Inc, Twitter Communications India, news website The Wire, journalists Mohammed Zubair and Rana Ayyub, besides Congress leaders Salman Nizami, Maskoor Usmani, Shama Mohamed and writer Saba Naqvi.

The police had rejected Twitter India officials request to carry out questioning via video conferencing.

Police said the accused were unhappy with the amulets sold to them by Saifi, a resident of Bulandshahr district, and rejected any communal aspect in the incident.

The Ghaziabad police had issued a statement with facts of the incident, yet the accused did not remove the video from their Twitter handles.