PIL in Allahabad HC against coercive action against those appealing for oxygen on social media
New Delhi, Apr 28: A petition has been filed in the Allahabad High Court challenging the FIR filed against a man in Uttar Pradesh who sought Twitter help for oxygen for his grandfather.
The PIL filed by activist, Saket Gokhale challenged the coercive action taken against those who are appealing for oxygen on the social media. The FIR was filed against him for allegedly circulating a rumour with the intent to cause fear or alarm.
The police said that the man was spreading misinformation on oxygen supply. It was found that due to the false tweet, several persons made allegations against the government, the police.
Shashank Yadav had initially put out a tweet tagging Sonu Sood. The tweet was amplified by his friend Ankit, who reached to a Wire Journalist, Arfa Khanum. She in turn tweeted asking for help and none of these messages which mentioned COVID-19. Khanum also tagged Amethi MP Smriti Irani.
Irani responded in less than 30 minute and said she had called Yadav several times, but was not able to reach him. She said that she had asked the district magistrate and Amethi police to follow up.
By this time, Yadav's grandfather had died and this message was passed on to Irani.
"Kept calling his number, we all did including CMO, Amethi police...I just wish he had picked up his phone," Irani said while expressing her condolences.
Amethi District Magistrate Arun Kumar said that Yadav's grandfather dud not have COVID-19 and was undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Durgapur. The Amethi police responded and said that the 88 year old man died of a heart attack and did not have COVID-19. At this time it is not only condemnable, but a legal offence to post such of messages that generate fear.