HIGHLIGHTS:

  • SC accepted to hear a petition of Uttar Pradesh government challenging an order of the Karnataka High Court
  • The video uploaded on the microblogging site was linked to the alleged assault of a Muslim man
  • Maheswari has been held responsible by the Uttar Pradesh government for the video

On Friday, the Supreme Court accepted to hear a petition of the Uttar Pradesh government challenging an order of the Karnataka High Court putting down notice against former Twitter India managing director Manish Maheswari in connection to an investigation into a communally sensitive video.

The video uploaded on the microblogging site was linked to the alleged assault of a Muslim man in Loni Ghaziabad. A bench, constituting Chief Justice NV Ramana, Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli, heard the government’s plea.

Tushar Mehta, who is appearing for the Yogi Adityanath government, enquired about the territorial jurisdiction of the high court. He said, “There’s a question of law that needs your examination. For the time being, ignore the reason why the summon was issued. It was a 41A notice, so there’s no question of the arrest. The question is the territorial jurisdiction of the high court.”

Meanwhile, the court demanded senior advocates AM Singhvi and Siddharth Luthra, appearing for Maheswari to accept the notice. The CJI remarked, “We have to hear the notice,”

The video that went viral on social media, displayed a Muslim man alleging that he was assaulted and forced to utter “Jai Shri Ram” with wrongdoers also chopping his beard off. However, the UP government has dismissed any ‘communal angle’ in the case. An FIR was lodged over offences insinuating criminal conspiracy and enmity between religious groups.

Maheswari has been held responsible by the Uttar Pradesh government for the video, which has “resulted in violence”, according to the prosecution.

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