In a case, wherein the photograph of a deceased lady is being circulated on various social media platforms wrongly depicting her as the victim of the unfortunate Hath Rape & Murder case, the Delhi Court on Tuesday (13th October) directed the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technologies & Ors. (MeitY) to act on the complaint expeditiously [if the complaint of the petitioner (the husband of the deceased lady) is found to be correct].
The Bench of Justice Navin Chawla further directed the Respondent No. 1 [Ministry of Electronics and Information Technologies & Ors. (MeitY)] to act on the complaint within a period of three days from the receipt of the copy of the order by issuing necessary directions to the respondent nos. 2 (Facebook), 3 (Twitter) and 4 (Google) in this regard.
The matter before the Court
Importantly, it is the case of the petitioner that the photograph of the deceased wife of the petitioner is being circulated on various social media platforms wrongly depicting her as the victim of the unfortunate incident of rape and murder of a young girl at Hathras, Uttar Pradesh.
The counsel for the petitioner submitted that even otherwise, the revelation of the identity of the rape victim is an offence under the Indian Penal Code, though in the present matter image of a wrong person is in circulation.
Arguments put forth by respondent no. 3 and 4
The learned senior counsel for the respondent no. 3 (Twitter) agreed that the petitioner can make a complaint to the National Crime Records Bureau at www.cybercrime.gov.in, and once the information regarding the offending URL is forwarded to the Respondent No. 3 through the proper channel, referring to this court order, the same would be blocked/removed from the platform of respondent no. 3.
Similar submission was made by the counsel for the respondent no. 4 (Google) who submitted that it being merely a search engine, once the information regarding the URL of the offending content is forwarded to the respondent no. 4 through proper channels; the same would be deleted/blocked by the respondent no. 4.
The matter has been listed for further hearing on 9th November, 2020.
Notably, the Senior Counsel appearing for the respondent no. 3 (Twitter) submitted that the respondent no. 3 should be impleaded as Twitter Inc., 1355, Market Street, #900, San Francisco, California – 94103, USA.
Similarly, the learned counsel for the respondent no. 4 (Google) submitted that the respondent no. 4 should be impleaded as Google LLC, 1600, Amphitheatre Parkway Mountain View, California – 94043, USA.
The counsel for the petitioner was asked to make the necessary correction in the Memo of parties.
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