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No coercive action against Facebook India head till 15 Oct, SC to Delhi panel


The Supreme Court on Wednesday said no coercive action should be taken against Facebook India VP and MD, Ajit Mohan, till October 15, when it will take up the matter for further hearing.

The SC’s order came in connection with a summons by the peace committee of Delhi Assembly asking Mohan to depose before it in connection with the Delhi riots.

A bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Aniruddha Bose and Krishna Murari also issued notices to the secretary of the Legislative Assembly, Law and Justice, Home Affairs, Electronics and IT ministry, secretary-general of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha and Delhi Police seeking their response.

The SC also said that Delhi Assembly’s Peace and Harmony Committee will not hold a meeting, till further orders.

What is the peace committee?

The panel on peace and harmony was set up after Delhi witnessed its worst riots in decades over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act in February this year.

The committee last month had raised questions about the content posted on Facebook at the time the violence broke out in Delhi.

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The panel is headed by Aam Aadmi Party leader and MLA Raghav Chadha. When Mohan and Facebook refused to come on the first summon, the assembly panel sent a second summons.

Mohan and Facebook challenged the two summons issued on September 10 and 18 because they violated the fundamental rights of the petitioner.

What does Facebook’s plea before SC say?

The petitioners sought that the two summons by the Legislative Assembly, NCT of Delhi and others, against them be quashed.

In the pleas, the social media giant said Facebook provides a safe place for expression and has tools allowing users to report objectionable content.

The plea said users have the option to report content that violates its publicly available community standards. It said the panel’s insistence on compelling Ajit Mohan, to speak, and its categorical threat to his non-appearance as a “breach of privilege of the Committee and that necessary action deemed fit will be taken”, is a case of violating the fundamental rights and liberties of petitioners.


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