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Delhi High Court Allows Early Hearing Of Sanjay Hegde's Plea Concerning Twitter Account Suspension Case

Nupur Thapliyal
8 Nov 2021 8:20 AM GMT
Delhi High Court Allows Early Hearing Of Sanjay Hegdes Plea Concerning Twitter Account Suspension Case
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The Delhi High Court on Monday allowed early hearing of the filed by Senior Advocate Sanjay Hegde in the case pertaining to suspension of his Twitter account. Justice Rekha Palli has now posted the matter for hearing on January 10, 2022. During the course of hearing today, while Senior Advocate Jaideep Gupta appeared for Hegde, Advocate Sarang Jain appeared on behalf of Twitter....

The Delhi High Court on Monday allowed early hearing of the filed by Senior Advocate Sanjay Hegde in the case pertaining to suspension of his Twitter account.

Justice Rekha Palli has now posted the matter for hearing on January 10, 2022.

During the course of hearing today, while Senior Advocate Jaideep Gupta appeared for Hegde, Advocate Sarang Jain appeared on behalf of Twitter.

Jain apprised the Court that a note has already been filed on the aspect of maintainability of the petition.

On the earlier occasion, dealing with the early hearing application in the matter, the Court had observed that the matter does not involve any 'urgency' and posted it on September 29. However, the matter could not be taken up on the said date.

Previously, Justice Pratibha M. Singh had allowed an early hearing in the matter and directed to list the matter on July 08, 2021.

Background

Citing depiction of "hateful imagery", Twitter had blocked Hegde's account in October 2019, for posting the picture of August Landmesser wherein he refused to the Nazi salute at a rally, when everybody around him was doing it; a picture Hegde claims has been up for several months as his cover photo.

Following a massive virtual uproar in his favour, Twitter restored his account the next day, only to block it again, this time for sharing the poem titled "Hang Him". Hedge said that the said post dated back to 2017, where he had retweeted the poem posted by Kavita Krishnan, which dealt with the hanging of two peasant revolutionaries in Independent India.

Hegde contended that the said posts did not violate any of Twitter's posting norms.

On the other hand, Twitter had filed an affidavit in July claiming that its services are subject to certain contractual terms and conditions, which any user has to agree upon for availing the services on the platform. It is alleged that since Hegde failed to comply with such obligations, his user account was suspended.

So far as second limb of Hegde's argument regarding activities in furtherance of a Fundamental Right is concerned, the company has submitted, "when operation of a law is attracted by reason of a contract which a person is free to enter into, Article 19 has no application."

Case Title: Sanjay R. Hegde v. The Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology & Anr.

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