Issuing a 'final notice' to Facebook after its representatives failed to appear before the Delhi Assembly, the committee chief Raghav Chadha observed that the social media giant's refusal to appear is an attempt to conceal crucial facts in the case. The Peace and Harmony Committee of the Delhi Assembly had sent a summons to the Facebook India Chief Ajit Mohan on Saturday over its alleged role in the northeast Delhi riots in February this year. Chadha added that the non-appearance of Facebook was not only contempt but also an 'insult' of the 2 crore people of the national capital.
"As per the principle of natural justice, we should give the last chance to Facebook vice president and managing director to appear before the committee. Still, if he does not come, the committee will not desist from using all its powers including coercive steps," the Committee's chief, Raghav Chadha said.
"Facebook's letter is in disregard of the committee's privilege. Facebook's refusal to appear before the committee is an attempt to conceal crucial facts in relation to its role in the Delhi riots. It shows that Facebook has something to hide...I feel that the legal advisors of Facebook India have given them wrong advice," Chadha added.
The social media giant had replied to the Assembly's summon and urged it to recall the summon. "The regulation of intermediaries like Facebook fall within the exclusive authority of the Union of India. Given that the matters are under consideration by Parliament, we object to the notice and request you to recall it," Facebook India had said in a response to the summon.
Earlier this month, Ajit Mohan had appeared before a parliamentary panel called to discuss the alleged "misuse of social media platforms", against the backdrop of the larger row over the social-media platform's hate-speech policy. The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology was convened to hear Facebook's views on the subject of "safeguarding citizens' rights" along with "prevention of misuse of social/online news media platforms"; including special emphasis on women security in the digital space, as per the agenda of the meeting. It was headed by Congress leader Shashi Tharoor along with representatives of Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.