Will Give A Date, SC On UP Govt Plea Against Quashing Of Notice To Twitter MD

New Delhi:  The Uttar Pradesh government on Wednesday asked the Supreme Court to urgently hear its plea challenging the Karnataka High Court order quashing notice of personal appearance issued to then Twitter India managing director Manish Maheshwari.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta mentioned the matter before a bench headed by chief Justice N.V. Ramana, noting that the plea, which was filed last month, has not been listed for hearing so far.

The notice was issued to Maheshwari in connection with a probe into uploading of a communally sensitive video by a user on Twitter. Last month, Maheshwari was transferred to the US as a Senior Director in the Revenue Strategy and Operations Department of the microblogging site.

The bench said: “Let us see it. We will give a date.”

When it asked what was the matter, Mehta replied to bench that the high court has interfered with the summons issued to the then Twitter MD by Uttar Pradesh Police.

The UP government filed a special leave petition in the top court challenging the July 23 high court order, quashing the notice as mala fide. Maheshwari had also filed a caveat in the top court seeking he be heard before an order is passed in the matter.

The Karnataka High Court on June 24 granted protection to Maheshwari in an FIR lodged by police in Ghaziabad’s Loni.

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.

The matter is connected with the circulation of a video in which the elderly man, Abdul Shamad Saifi, alleged that he was allegedly beaten by some young men who forced him to chant “Jai Shri Ram” on June 5. The police claimed the video was shared to incite communal discontent.

According to the police, the accused were unhappy with the amulets sold to them by Saifi, a resident of Bulandshahr district, and ruled out any communal angle in the matter. The Ghaziabad police said it had issued a statement with “facts” of the incident, yet the accused did not remove the video from their Twitter handles.

On June 15, 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.