On Thursday, Senior Advocate Sanjay Hegde sent legal notice to Twitter demanding to restore his account and provide a public apology for damaging his reputation.
Twitter suspended Hegde’s account twice for allegedly violating its terms of service. Twitter had first suspended his account on October 26, for posting a picture of German worker Augus Landmesser, who is seen refusing to do the Nazi salute at a rally. The post was categorized as “hateful imagery”.
The suspension was revoked briefly on October 27, after which it was suspended again, when Hegde tweeted a poem titled ‘Usko Phaansi De Do’ by poet Gorakh Pandey.
Hegde also sent a legal notice to Law & IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, in which it argued that social media platforms discharge an “essential public function” in today’s world, as a result of which the Fundamental right to Freedom of speech and expression under Article 19 (1) (a) should be enforceable against such platforms even though they are private entities.
However, the notice said that Hegde “failed to understand” why Twitter had taken such a step as the post on October 27, was “only quote- tweeted” by him.
The notice stated that the tweets did not fall under any of the categories of prohibited posts on the social media platform, which include “violence, abuse/harassment, and hateful conduct.”
It is clear from the above that suspension of my Client’s Twitter account is arbitrary, illegal and Twitter’s own policies. The same is also an infringement of my client’s Fundamental right to Freedom of speech and expression under Article 19 (1) (a) of the Indian Constitution. The Honourable Supreme Court of India has repeatedly held that even private bodies that discharge a public function to the constitution scrutiny,” the notice added.
The notice demands that Hedge’s account be restored. Twitter has also been asked to issue a public apology to him for infringing his fundamental rights and tarnishing his image in public.
It is also made clear that failure to comply with the notice dated November 7, within three days will result in the initiation of legal proceedings, including criminal defamation.
On Thursday, Twitter India released a statement in the form of a long thread to address the ongoing discussions of its rules and policy affecting Indian minority users on the platform. The thread tried to assure that the site is committed to inclusion and diversity as it is fundamental to the effectiveness of its service.
Tags : #Twitter #Sanjay Hegde #Freedom of speech and expression