The Uttar Pradesh Police have booked Twitter India, some Congress leaders, and a few journalists including Rana Ayyub and Mohammed Zubair for ‘inciting ’ through tweets related to the assault of an elderly man in the Ghaziabad district of the state.
Soon after the FIR was lodged, the micro-blogging site reportedly lost intermediary status and could lose legal protection because of its failure to comply with new rules requiring it to appoint key officers in India, according to reports.
Hence, if there is any charge against Twitter for alleged unlawful content it would be treated as a publisher – not an intermediary – and be liable for punishment under any law, including IT Act, as also the penal laws of the country, according to news agency ANI
“We are keeping MeitY apprised of progress at every step of the process. The interim Chief Compliance Officer has been retained and details will be shared with Ministry directly soon. Twitter continues to make every effort to comply with new guidelines,” a Twitter spokesperson said in a statement to media.
Twitter when approached, however, declined to comment on the FIR.
In the FIR, the Police have invoked IPC sections 153 (provocation for rioting), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups), 295A (acts intended to outrage religious feelings), 505 (mischief), 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 34 (common intention) against them.
Twitter has been accused of not removing the “misleading” content linked to the June 5 incident in which an elderly Muslim man had alleged that his beard was cut off and he was forced to chant “Vande Matram” by a group that assaulted him, according to a report in NDTV about Twitter losing the legal indemnity in India.