SC issues notice to Centre, 8 states on plea of Twitter India against multiple FIRs

Twitter India has contended that it has no control over content on Twitter and that the same is monitored by the Twitter Inc based in the US.
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The Supreme Court Thursday sought a response from the Centre and eight states including Karnataka and Assam on a plea of Twitter Communications India Pvt Ltd seeking quashing of multiple FIRs lodged against it for allegedly promoting a tweet on 'Khalistan'.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde took note of the submissions of senior advocate Sajjan Poovayya, appearing for Twitter India, that there cannot be multiple FIRs for one incident and sought their quashing.

The firm has sought clubbing of the FIRs for conducting the trial in one lower court as done in the case of journalist Arnab Goswami.

Multiple FIRs have been lodged against the Indian arm of Twitter INC of the US in eight states for allegedly promoting the tweet of one Gurpatwant Singh Pannum on 'Khalistan'

Pannum had tweeted a Twitter poll on whether India should recognize Khalistan'2020."

In the proceedings conducted via video-conferencing, the bench, also comprising justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian, issued notices on the plea to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs and Karnataka, Assam, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Maharashtra , Odisha and the Police Commissioner of Delhi.

The bench also sought responses from the complainants who have lodged criminal complaints against the social media giant.

It has also issued the notice to one Vinit Goenka, a BJP functionary who had alleged that the firm had taken financial consideration to promote the alleged tweet.

Twitter India has contended that it has no control over the content on platform and that the same is monitored by the Twitter Inc based in the USA. 

In another development, The Delhi High Court sought response of the Centre, RBI, SEBI, IRDAI, and National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) on a PIL seeking a detailed legal framework for regulating operations of techfin companies such as Facebook, Google, and Amazon in India's financial sector space.

(Disclaimer: Additional background information has been added to this PTI copy for context)

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