Communal Hashtags on Twitter; SC asks petitioner to approach HC

New Delhi: The Supreme Court refused to intervene in a plea seeking for directions to Twitter for removal of communal hashtags on the social media platform and directed the Petitioner to approach Telangana High Court instead.

The petition, filed by Hyderabad based Advocate Khaja Aijazuddin, avers that hashtags on Twitter, such as #IslamicCoronavirusJihad, #NizumuddinIdiots, #TablighiJamaatVirus and others, which are trending on the social media platform have the ability to insult the religion and may also disturb the communal harmony of the country.

The Petitioner, being aggrieved by the nature of attaching the religion to the pandemic on Twitter, seeks for directions to put an end to the “illegal trending on the Social Network” and to restrain the sites from carrying messages which might hurt or insult the feelings of a particular community.

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A Bench comprising of Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and Justice Aniruddha Bose heard the matter and directed the Petitioner to approach the Telangana High Court for proper adjudication of the issue involved. 



The Petitioner insisted that the Apex Court was equally empowered under the law to adjudicate the issue, however, the Bench did not agree with the submission. CJI Bobde remarked



”How can the Court stop this? You are saying that people are saying wrong things on Twitter. This is like saying that people are saying wrong things on phone. How can we direct MTNL?”



The Petitioner informed the Bench that he was merely seeking for directions to the platform to drop the hashtags which were inflammatory in nature.

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The Court refused to intervene in the matter and allowed the Petitioner to withdraw the plea with the liberty to approach the Telangana High Court.

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