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Karnataka HC to hear Twitter India MD’s challenge to UP Police order on July 5

Bengaluru: The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday adjourned till July 5 hearing of the writ petition filed by Twitter India MD Manish Maheshwari challenging a Uttar Pradesh police notice that asked him to appear in person for questioning in the Ghaziabad viral video case.

A single-judge bench of Justice G Narender, which had last week passed an interim order restraining the UP Police from taking any coercive action against Maheshwari, adjourned the hearing on Tuesday. He also asked the counsel representing the UP Police to explain why the name of the respondent in the case was not notified.

Maheshwari had filed the petition in the court on June 24, the same day he had to appear before an inspector at the Loni Border police station in Ghaziabad, failing to do which he could be arrested, according to the notice under Section 41A of the Code of Criminal Procedure that was served to him.

The UP Police on Tuesday also filed an appeal in the Supreme Court against the Karnataka High Court order, challenging the protection from arrest granted to Maheshwari. The Twitter India executive too moved the apex court with a caveat petition stating that no interim order ought to be passed in the matter without giving him an opportunity of being heard.

The UP Police had filed a first information report (FIR), naming Twitter Inc, Twitter Communications India Pvt. Ltd. and Maheshwari, apart from six others, in connection with the viral video. The police had claimed that the video was manipulated to give it a communal narrative, which was amplified by users on Twitter.

The UP Police
has also filed a second FIR naming Twitter, Maheshwari and the company’s news partnerships head Amrita Tripathi, after it was found that the company was displaying a distorted version of the India map on the ‘career’ section of its website. The FIR was filed in response to a complaint by a Bajrang Dal leader in Bulandshahr.

The flurry of cases against Twitter and its India leadership comes at a time when the company is at loggerheads with the Indian government over non-compliance with its new IT rules, which mandates that all major social networks must hire three key executives that are full-time employees and residents of the country.

ET has reported earlier that Twitter has likely lost its intermediary status, opening the door for criminal prosecution for content posted by third parties on its platform.

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