Karnataka HC approves interim relief for Twitter India MD Manish Maheshwari

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The Karnataka High Court granted approval of interim relief to Twitter India Managing Director Manish Maheshwari for the petition challenging the call issued to him by Ghaziabad police. Maheshwari, currently living in Bengaluru, had been called by the police officials with his relation to the viral video clip showing an elderly Muslim man being hit on camera. He had appealed to the High Court contesting the summons demanding for Maheshwari to be present in Ghaziabad before the police officials.

Maheshwari revealed to the court that the Ghaziabad police had in the first place sent him a summons notice as a witness for assistance in the investigation of the case. Maheshwari’s counsel stated to the court, “Just two days before they issued me a notice under Section 41A of the CrPC (notice for appearance before a police officer), they had issued a notice under Section 160 CrPC, calling me as a witness.”

In an interim order, the Karnataka High Court informed that the matter needs to be considered, and limited the Ghaziabad police from beginning any coercive action against Manish Maheshwari scheduled such till June 29, the next hearing date for the case. The court said that during the week, if the Ghaziabad police is willing to inquire him, it will be through virtual mode. Maheshwari had earlier agreed to be a part of the probe via video call.

The summons directed to Maheshwari is a part of the investigation by the Ghaziabad police into the FIR lodged against Twitter India and news website The Wire, along with several journalists Mohammed Zubair, Rana Ayyub, author Saba Naqvi, Congress politicians Salman Nizami, Maskoor Usmani, and Shama Mohamed have been also framed as accused of sharing the video on the grounds of provoking communal unrest. The journalists clarified that they only shared the victim’s version.

The viral video narrated the ordeals of an elderly Muslim man, named Abdul Shamad Saifi alleged about being attacked and asked to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’. The Ghaziabad police, turned down the communal angle and revealed the incident was a case of personal enmity as the accused was not satisfied with the ‘tabeez’ Saifi sold to them.

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