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Facebook cites the right to silence, tells SC that it cannot be compelled to appear before any legislative panel | India News


NEW DELHI: Facebook told the Supreme Court on Wednesday that it agrees and complies with all Indian laws, but that it cannot be compelled to submit to the jurisdiction of Parliament and the assembly to appear before its panels to investigate misuse of social media and your right to remain silent. it cannot be removed.
Lead attorney Harish Salve, who appears on Facebook, told a court of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Dinesh Maheshwari and Hrishikesh Roy that the company and its representatives cannot be compelled to appear before the legislative panel to render their opinion and the subpoena. Issued by the Delhi Assembly Committee. It reeks of “constitutional arrogance.”
When the bank questioned the social media platform about its “hesitation” to comply with the call of the Delhi assembly committee that is investigating last year’s communal riots in the capital, when its representative had previously appeared before the standing committee of information technology Parliament, Salve argued that it was the company that should decide whether to appear before a committee. He said Facebook representatives voluntarily appeared before the parliamentary committee.
“I went there by commercial coercion. It is my choice where to appear. But I cannot be forced. I have the right not to participate. It is my constitutional right to speak and silence,” Salve replied.
In addition, he explained that the company did not wish to be part of a political dispute over the unrest, as it simply provides a platform for discussion without participating. “There is division about what happened and who is responsible for the violence in Delhi. What is happening is a political battle and I don’t want to be a part of it,” Salve said.
The bank, however, noted that Facebook could not evade responsibility for what is happening on its platform. “You provide a platform where the debate takes place. Can you then say that my hands are not free? It is something that worries me,” said Judge Kaul.
Attorney General Tushar Mehta strongly opposed Salve’s claim, telling the court that the multinational company cannot take a position that cannot be submitted to the jurisdiction of Parliament. He said that the company had to appear even before the competent jurisdiction of an assembly. The SG, however, said that the subpoena issued by the Delhi assembly was incorrect as the issue of law and order in Delhi falls within the jurisdiction of the Center.
“He is obliged to appear. He must also respect the assembly if it has jurisdiction,” Mehta said.
The bank thereafter reserved its order on Facebook’s request to quash the subpoena issued by the Delhi assembly.
Previously, the Delhi Assembly had told SC that, being an elected representative, it was his duty to examine measures to prevent mass online hatred and consequent violence in his geographical area and the company cannot take the excuse that peace and harmony are on the Center’s public list. order.
He had argued that the assembly “was giving value and stature” to Facebook by asking its official to appear before its panel, but they were “insulting” themselves by refusing to appear and give inputs. The assembly said it was essential to understand how Facebook, which has thousands of users at the Delhi NCT, works to explore ways to tackle hate speech and other similar challenges to social cohesion.
The assembly’s panel on peace and harmony is investigating complaints about the “role or complicity of Facebook officials in the Delhi riots” that occurred in February last year.

Times of India