The Central government and Twitter, on Monday, have been asked by Delhi High Court to provide a response on senior advocate Sanjay Hegde's petition over the suspension of his social media account. Justice Naveen Chawla sought responses and listed the case for next hearing on February 11.
His petition also raised the issue of whether large multi-national corporations such as Twitter, which serve millions of users are amenable to constitutional investigation for their actions. Hegde stated that the suspension of his social media account violates his right to free speech and expression, right to assembly and right to form an association under the Constitution of India.
"The Information Technology Act authorizes the Central Government to prescribe guidelines to intermediaries. However, no guidelines to ensure that legal speech is not censored have been laid down," the plea mentioned while seeking for relief.
The senior advocate had retweeted the poem ‘Hang Him’ which was originally posted by Kavita Krishnan in 2017. It is about two peasant revolutionaries being hung in Independent India. Mr Hegde expressed bitterness that his account was suspended for merely re-sharing a tweet whereas the original post had not attracted any such action.
Sanjay Hegde had also tweeted a picture of August Landmesser refusing to do the Nazi salute when everyone around him was doing it. Twitter took down the picture and blocked his account on October 27 citing “hateful imagery”. Hegde claimed that this picture had been upon his Twitter as his cover photo for many months. Hegde also told the media that his post did nothing to violate Twitter’s guidelines and norms.