‘Malafide, arm-twisting’: Karnataka HC quashes UP cops’ notice to Twitter India MD for personal appearance

BENGALURU: In a big relief for Manish Maheshwari, managing director of Twitter India, the Karnataka high court on Friday quashed notice issued by the Uttar Pradesh police under section 41-A of criminal procedure code, vis-a-vis the ongoing probe into the circulation of a communally sensitive video clip of an elderly Muslim man being attacked.
The court has pointed out that the petitioner is not arrayed as an accused and the police have not shown an iota of material to show prima facie involvement of petitioner and the notice under challenge is vitiated my malafide.
Justice G Narendar, however, has said that the notice has to be read as the one issued under section 160 of CrPC and if the police want to interrogate him, they can do so via virtual mode.
The judge has further noted that invoking of section 41 A, immediately after section 160 notice creates a doubt in the mind of the court that it was arm-twisting method as petitioner.
The judge also pointed out that information sought from the petitioner was very much available in the public domain and records placed before the court indicated that Twitter India is an independent entity.
In his petition challenging the June 21 notice, Maheshwari had claimed that he had clearly clarified that he had nothing to do with the said video clip and he is only an employee of the company.
On June 24, the high court had granted interim relief, directing the Uttar Pradesh police not to take any coercive action against Maheshwari in pursuance of the said 41-A notice. However, the police were given liberty to question him through virtual mode.

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Author: Shirley