New Delhi: Uttar Pradesh Police filed a petition with the Supreme Court on Tuesday, challenging a Karnataka High Court judgement that granted Twitter India CEO Manish Maheshwari interim protection from arrest in connection with a FIR stemming from tweets alleging a Muslim man’s attack near Delhi.
Mr Maheshwari has also filed a caveat with the Supreme Court, requesting that the court hear his side before pronouncing any orders on the UP Police’s appeal.Last Monday, the Karnataka High Court ruled that the UP Police could not take “coercive action” against Mr Maheshwari, who was first summoned to the state as a witness before being issued notice as an accused charged with incitement to riot, incitement to enmity, and incitement to criminal activity.The court further stated that Mr Maheshwari, a Bengaluru resident, was no longer required to travel to UP. “This matter requires more consideration,” Justice G Narender’s single-judge bench said, deferring orders until June 29. “Until then, no coercive action…” Justice Narender had stated previously.
“If police choose to investigate or question, they may do so by virtual mode,” the court noted in response to UP Police’s protest that this indicated he had been given anticipatory bail. “The notices (from the police) to me changed from witness to accused in two days,” Mr Maheshwari told the Karnataka High Court during the hearing.Mr Maheshwari had filed a petition in the High Court on June 23 to overturn a summons issued by the Uttar Pradesh Police Department after he was served with a notice summoning him to the Loni Police Station (on the Delhi-UP border) for questioning.
After an elderly man, Abdul Samad, said he was thrashed by others and forced to shout “Jai Shri Ram” and “Vande Mataram,” a FIR was filed against Twitter India, many journalists, and Congress politicians. The incident was captured on camera, which was extensively circulated on social media. Twitter India has been told to remove certain messages, but failed to do so at first. The police further disputed that the case had a “communal angle,” alleging that the victim was beaten up over amulets he sold. They claimed he was attacked by six people he knew, both Hindu and Muslim. Mr Samad’s family, on the other hand, has refuted the police’s allegations.