New Delhi: The Supreme Court has issued a notice to former Twitter India head Manish Maheshwari over a plea of the Uttar Pradesh government against the Karnataka High Court order to set aside a notice seeking Maheshwari’s appearance for a probe into a communally sensitive video uploaded by a user on the micro-blogging site, according to news agency ANI. The UP Police had charged Mr Maheshwari with intent to riot, promoting enmity and criminal conspiracy charges.
The former Managing Director of the social media website was summoned by the UP Police for questioning after an FIR was filed against Twitter India and others over a widely shared video showing an elderly man Abdul Samad being thrashed by some people and being forced to chant “Jai Shri Ram” and “Vande Mataram”.
Mr Maheshwari had told the Karnataka HC that he had made himself available for questioning via video conferencing but the police had turned it down and insisted that he appear in person. He said he was ready to appear before the UP Police if they provided an undertaking that he would not be arrested. “If UP Police gives an undertaking to the court that they will not arrest me, I am ready to appear before the police in Ghaziabad within 24 hours,” his lawyer had said. The Karnataka HC said that the UP Police could not take “coercive action” against him.
The UP police had approached the top court to challenge a Karnataka HC order in June that had given Twitter India head Manish Maheshwari temporary protection from arrest in connection with an FIR over tweets about the assault of a Muslim man near Delhi. Mr Maheshwari had also approached the top court asking them to hear his side before passing any orders on UP Police’s appeal.