Telangana HC Issues Notices In Plea Seeking Removal Of Communal Hashtags From Twitter

Telangana HC Issues Notices In Plea Seeking Removal Of Communal Hashtags From Twitter

The High Court of Telangana on Monday issued notices on a  petition seeking removal of 'communal hashtags' trending on Twitter,which  demonise and blame the entire Muslim community of deliberately spreading the  corona virus across the country.
   
The division bench comprised by Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh  Chauhan and Justice B Vijaysen Reddy has issued  notices to the Central Government, the State Government and to Twitter. The court has asked the Respondents to file their counter  affidavits in the matter within four weeks, and explain why such tweets had not  been removed.
The Petitioner, Advocate  Khaja Aijazuddin had earlier approached  the Supreme Court seeking restraint on all websites in India from carrying 'islamophobic'  posts, that have the potential to hurt the sentiments of the Muslim community.

He had stated that due to the 'massive publicity' given to  the members of the Tablighi Jamaat, who later tested Covid positive, the  religious congregation was given a communal color, leading to widespread social  media posts, linking the religion to the disease.
He averred that such posts are contrary to the India laws, particularly  the Indian Penal Code, which prohibits and penalizes 'insulting the religion, hurting the feelings of the community and  disturbing the communal harmony of the Country.

The same is also averred to be contrary to the Guidelines  issued by the WHO on March 18, laying down that 'religion shall not be attached with the pandemic

In this backdrop, the Petitioner-advocate had prayed for a  direction to the Centre and to the Telangana Police to require the social media  platform Twitter to 'stop the  illegal trending attaching the religion to the pandemic disease', for  it is 'highly unwarranted, illegal  and unconstitutional'. Further, he had prayed that 'online social media networks or sites be  restrained from carrying any messages hurting or insulting the feelings of the  particular community.   

The Supreme Court however refused  to intervene in the matter and allowed the Petitioner to withdraw the plea  with the liberty to approach the Telangana High Court, pursuant to which the  present petition was filed.
The High Court has issued notices and has posted the matter for hearing after four weeks.",

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