UP moves Supreme Court against HC protection to Twitter MD

Uttar Pradesh moved the Supreme Court on Tuesday in a bid to overturn a high court order protecting Twitter India managing director Manish Maheshwari from having to appear for police questioning in person in connection with a recent incident in Loni.

Separately, another first information report (FIR) was filed against Twitter in the state on Tuesday for allegedly displaying incorrect maps of India.

The Uttar Pradesh police had accused Twitter of allowing its platform to be used to portray a video of the Loni episode, in which some persons are seen assaulting an old Muslim man, not as a personal dispute between warring parties but a communal incident.

Bengaluru-based Maheshwari had earlier moved the Karnataka High Court against the FIR lodged in this case and got relief, allowing for police questioning over video. But the UP police want him to appear in a police station in Loni within a week to answer questions and make him liable to arrest if he doesn’t show up in person.

Maheshwari had moved the top court on Monday, urging that he be heard before any adverse orders were passed in the case. The twin pleas will be heard soon. No formal listing orders have been issued so far.

The second FIR was filed in Bulandshahr by Praveen Bhati, a lawyer and sah sanyojak (co-coordinator) of Bajrang Dal’s Bulandshahr unit, against Maheshwari and Twitter news partnerships head Amrita Tripathi. The maps allegedly showed Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh outside India. These have since been restricted by Twitter as has the video of the Loni incident, both of which had gone viral.

The charges in the map case are under Section 505 (2) of the Indian Penal Code (public mischief) and Section 74 of the Information Technology Act (publication for fraudulent purpose).

The Karnataka High Court had on June 24 granted an interim stay on the notice issued by the UP police under Section 41A of the CrPC over the Loni incident. The bench had listed the case for further hearing on Tuesday.

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