Islamophobic posts: Petition filed in SC seeking NIA probe against Twitter

The Government of India and Ministry of Electronics and IT shall frame guidelines as envisaged under the provisions of IT Act, 2000,pertaining to hate messages against any Religious Community including Islamophobic posts on various Social Media platforms.

Hyderabad: A city based practising lawyer has filed a special leave petition (SLP) with the Supreme Court of India for issuing directions to the Government of India for registering criminal complaint against Twitter and its users for allegedly posting Islamic phobic posts.

The petitioner lawyer Khaja Aijazuddin has pleaded court to direct the appropriate agency, either Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or National Investigation Agency (NIA), to conduct investigation against Twitter  and its users who were involved in inflammatory posts.

To Direct the Government of India and Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to frame guidelines as envisaged under the provisions of IT Act, 2000,pertaining to hate messages against any Religious Community including Islamophobic posts on various Social Media platforms.

Aggrieved with inflammatory trending on Twitter under the name and styled Islamic coronavirusjihad, #Nizamuddinidiots, #Coronajihad, #TabIighijamat,TablighiJamatVirus, and in many ways attaching the religion to pandemic disease which was being done by Social Network Users on Twitter, Khaja Aijazuddin filed a Writ petition with the Supreme Court in April 2020 and the Apex court had directed the petitioner to approach Telangana High Court for seeking relief.

The petitioner in his SLP contended that though Director General of Police Telangana and Police Commissioner Hyderabad have issued notices to Twitter under Section 91 CrPC even without registering an FIR in the said matter.

He contended that no police investigation can take place without filing of an FIR as has been laid down by the Supreme Court the lawyer said.

Twitter is performing a public duty in so far as that “Twitter” is performing the function of mode of communication and delivery of information in public at large, all over the world.

Therefore, even though Twitter is a private body, and its functioning is under a statute  IT Act 2000 and Rules framed thereunder.

On April 22 this year while delivering the final judgement a bench comprising Chief Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Vijay Sen Reddy of Telangana High court directed the Lawyer to approach the Supreme Court since the issue is of Pan India and Apex court has only got the jurisdiction over the matter.

Lawyer in his SLP informed court that a Religious Congregation was conducted from 13th March 2020 to 15th March 2020 at Delhi organized by Tablighi Jamat at Nizamuddin, Delhi where Scholars or attendees came from across the World and from different States of India. Since few attendees reported positive for COVID-19, there was massive trending on the Twitter, attached to the Coronavirus which is totally contrary to the Guidelines issued by the WHO, therein in the Guidelines mandated that religion shall not be attached with the pandemic.

The hearing is likely to come up before the vacation bench next week.

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