HC notice to Delhi Police on plea of Facebook & Google

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New Delhi, Jan 11: The Delhi High Court issued notice to city police on petitions filed by Facebook India and Google India challenging the trial court order which had summoned them and other websites to face a criminal case for allegedly webcasting objectionable content.

Justice Suresh Kait sought reply from Delhi Police on a plea by Facebook India Online Services Pvt Ltd and Google India Pvt Ltd.

The trial court had on December 23 summoned representatives of 21 social networking sites including Facebook, Microsoft, Google, Yahoo and Youtube taking cognisance of a private criminal complaint.

The Metropolitan Magistrate had also directed the Centre to take "immediate appropriate steps" and also file a report in the court by January 13.

The Magistrate had said, "It appears from a bare perusal of documents that prima facie the accused in connivance with each other and other unknown persons are selling, publicly exhibiting and have put into circulation obscene, lascivious content."

The MM had summoned the companies to face a criminal case under section 292 (sale of obscene books etc), 293 (sale of obscene objects to young person etc) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC.

The Magistrate noted that in the material submitted by the complainant, Vinay Rai, a journalist, contained derogatory articles pertaining to Prophet Mohammad, Jesus Christ and various Hindu Gods and Goddesses.

Three days before the lower court order another court in a civil case had also restrained the sites from webcasting any "anti-religious" or "anti-social" content promoting hatred or communal disharmony.

PTI

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