Facebook says suit filed with "ulterior motives" against it

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New Delhi, Feb 28: Popular social networking site Facebook has told a Delhi court that the case against it for hosting allegedly objectionable content has been filed "deliberately with ulterior motives" and it is not responsible for the content on its website.

It alleged the lawsuit has been filed to "harass" it and is a "gross abuse" of law as it has been filed by a person who has approached the court with "unclean hands".

Facebook sought a direction from the court to remove its name as one of the parties in the petition saying "it is not responsible for hosting the content that may appear on facebook.com or any website".

"The plaintiff has filed the present suit with ulterior motives to harass Facebook. The present suit is a gross abuse of the process of law and filed with ulterior motive of publicity and causing harassment to it," the company said in a written statement filed before Additional Civil Judge Praveen Singh.

Earlier, Yahoo India, which is also a party to the case filed by Mufti Aijaz Arshad Quasmi, had termed the suit as "motivated".

Facebook India has also sought striking off of its name from the list of parties saying "it is not responsible for hosting the content that may appear on facebook.com or any website and it does not control or operate the servers that host the website facebook.com, which are located in the United States". It said the plaintiff has deliberately concealed it from the court.

It said even the evidence, including images and videos relied upon by him, does not show that their source as facebook.com and that he has made "vague allegations in relation to some alleged content being hosted on certain websites."

Alleging that he himself has "not come to the court with clean hands", the company said he is not entitled to agitate any issue of public interest or alleged irreparable loss or damage to Indian culture as the present suit is private in nature.

It said the prayer made for removal of the alleged objectionable contents is "wrong and misconceived" and the suit is liable to be dismissed.

The company also said it has been impleaded under the incorrect description of 'Facebook' and stated that the correct name is 'Facebook India Online Services Pvt Ltd'.

Meanwhile, Quasmi's counsel Santosh Pandey said the written statement was not supplied to it by the company within the stipulated time period of 15 days as directed by the court on February 6.

The court had on February 6 given 15 days' time to all the websites to file their written statements.

Facebook has made its submission in response to a civil suit filed by Quasmi against it, Yahoo, Google and other Internet companies objecting to certain contents on their websites which, he alleged had hurt the religious sentiments of various communities.

The court had earlier asked them to remove the objectionable contents in the form of photographs, videos or texts which might hurt religious sentiment.

The matter will come up for hearing on March 1.

PTI

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