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Twitter US does not own a single share in its India entity, Twitter India MD tells Karnataka High Court

Twitter India is an accused in the case filed by Ghaziabad police on June 15 for sharing the video of an assault on a 65-year-old person. Its managing director Manish Maheshwari has challenged the notice that asked him to appear before the UP Police.

July 23, 2021 / 04:05 PM IST
The UP Police alleged that Twitter did not take any steps to remove the content even after being aware that the video was fake.

The UP Police alleged that Twitter did not take any steps to remove the content even after being aware that the video was fake.

Twitter US does not own a single share in the India entity, says Twitter India in response to the Karnataka High Court’s query on if Twitter US can be considered a parent company.

Justice G Narendar started dictating the order on July 22 in the video assault case where Twitter India MD Manish Maheshwari was named as one of the accused.

On July 22, Judge Narendar asked if Twitter US is Twitter India’ parent company. Maheshwari’s representative responded, “I can go on record and state that Twitter US does not hold a single share in Twitter India.” According to the counsel, Twitter India is a separate entity.

Twitter India is owned by, Twitter International, which is based in Ireland and holds 9999 shares, and Twitter Netherlands is one share. Twitter US, which runs the platform, has no holding in the firm.

However, according to the counsel representing the UP Police, while Twitter US might not own shares in India entity, it is the company’s sister concern that owns the company in India and hence there are no outside players.

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The judgement dictation will continue tomorrow July 23, at noon.

What’s the case?

Twitter India was named as one of the accused in the case filed by the Ghaziabad police on June 15 for sharing a video of an assault on a 65-year-old person in the city.

The video, which emerged earlier that month, showed miscreants attacking a senior citizen, identified as Abdul Samad Saifi, and cutting off his beard. In another video, the elderly man claimed he was assaulted due to his religion.

The UP Police alleged that Twitter did not take any steps to remove the content even after being aware that the video was fake, which furthered tension. A notice was sent to Maheshwari, asking him to appear before the police in Ghaziabad in June under Section 160 and Section 41A of the criminal procedure code.

Maheshwari challenged the notice in the Karnataka High Court on grounds that him being a resident of Bengaluru, the High Court has jurisdiction to hear the matter. He was granted interim relief.

During the course of the hearing, Maheshwari contested that one of the legal provisions under which he was booked, Section 41A, empowered police to arrest him on grounds that he didn’t cooperate with police, especially when he was just an employee and had no control over the content on the platform.

Maheshwari also said that he was a resident and worked from Bengaluru, which was not under the jurisdiction of the Uttar Pradesh police. The notice sent to him to appear before the police was not authorised under the law. It was also argued that Twitter India was not an intermediary and had no control over the content on the platform.

The Uttar Pradesh police denied the claims and said that if Maheshwari was Twitter India managing director, he would have to cooperate with the inquiry.
Swathi Moorthy
first published: Jul 22, 2021 05:19 pm

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