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Removed Rahul Gandhi's Tweet Publishing Pictures Of Minor Rape Victims' Parents, Locked His Account : Twitter Tells Delhi High Court

Akshita Saxena
11 Aug 2021 6:40 AM GMT
Removed Rahul Gandhis Tweet Publishing Pictures Of Minor Rape Victims Parents, Locked His Account : Twitter Tells Delhi High Court
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Social media giant Twitter today informed the Delhi High Court that it has taken down the tweet posted by MP Rahul Gandhi, allegedly disclosing sensitive details and publishing photographs of family of 9 year old victim allegedly gang-raped and murdered in Delhi Cantt area. The company also claimed to have locked Gandhi's account as it violated their policy."We have removed that tweet. It...

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Social media giant Twitter today informed the Delhi High Court that it has taken down the tweet posted by MP Rahul Gandhi, allegedly disclosing sensitive details and publishing photographs of family of 9 year old victim allegedly gang-raped and murdered in Delhi Cantt area. The company also claimed to have locked Gandhi's account as it violated their policy.

"We have removed that tweet. It is against our policy as well," Senior Advocate Sajan Poovayya appearing for Twitter told the Court.

A Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh was hearing a plea filed by a social activist Makarand Suresh Mhadlekar through Advocates Gautam Jha, Pankaj Kumar and Sweta Jha.

They alleged that the impugned tweets are violative of the POCSO Act as well as the detailed guidelines issued by the Supreme Court in the case of Nipun Saxena v. Union of India.

The plea inter alia sought a direction on Twitter to remove the said post from their social media platform.

At the outset, Poovayya informed the Court that the tweet has been removed.

"That's very responsible. You have been prompt," the Chief Justice remarked.

However, Petitioner's counsel Gautam Jha insisted that the company should file an affidavit to that effect.

"Why are you saying this? Why will they lie? There is no reason to disbelieve them (Twitter). They have acted so responsibly," a visibly agitated CJ remarked.

However, as Jha continued stating that the impugned tweet has ramifications, the Bench posted the matter for hearing on September 27.

"If this is your attitude, we are not issuing notice. File papers and we will see on next date," the Bench said.

The plea also seeks directions on the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) to take appropriate legal action against Gandhi. Further, a direction is sought upon the Delhi Police to register an FIR against him under relevant provisions of the POCSO Act.

Placing reliance on the judgment of Nipun Saxena v. Union of India wherein the Supreme Court held that personal information and particulars of a victim or child in conflict with law cannot be disclosed in Media, the plea states that Rahul Gandhi's tweet is violative of sec. 23 of the POCSO Act thereby attracting a punishment of minimum six months and maximum one year.

It has also been stated that the aforesaid act is an attempt to take political mileage out of the unfortunate incident by posting the picture of victim's parents on Twitter.

"It is submitted that Rape, particularly that of a minor girl, is one of the grossest crimes committed against children. Disclosure of such crimes to the outside world only adds to the agony of the family of the victim and the victim herself. By doing so the Respondent No.1 has put the lives of the victim's family members at high risk," the plea states.

Case Title: Makarand Suresh Mhadlekar v. Rahul Gandhi & Ors.

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