Twitter on Wednesday told the Delhi High Court that it has deleted the tweet of senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi that had a photograph of the parents of a nine-year-old Dalit girl, who was allegedly raped and killed at a crematorium in Southwest Delhi on August 01.
The submission was made in response to a petition seeking legal action including registration of an FIR against Gandhi for posting the photograph.
Senior Advocate Sajan Poovayya, representing Twitter, told the court that the tweet has already been deleted since it was in violation of the micro-blogging site’s policy. Poovayya also told the court that Gandhi’s account has also been locked.
The Division Bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyot Singh said “so nice of you”. “No need to explain much once you have removed. Immediately you have responded.”
When advocate Gautam Jha, representing the petitioner, disputed the submission of Twitter and submitted that it needs to be put on record via an affidavit, the court took exception.
“Why should they lie? The counsel for Twitter is saying that they have removed. Very responsible they are… Immediately, even without asking from the court, they have removed. They are making the statement. There is no reason to dispute,” observed the court.
“If this is the attitude. We are not issuing notice,” added the bench.
While listing the case for September 27, the court asked the counsels representing Gandhi, Delhi Police and other respondents to remain ready with submissions of one page or two. Senior Advocate R S Cheema represented Gandhi in the case.
The petitioner Makarand Suresh Mhadlekar, a social activist, in the petition argued that Gandhi violated Section 74 of Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 and Section 23(2) of the POCSO Act, “both of which mandate that the identity of a child victim of a crime shall not be disclosed”.
“The law in this regard is very well-settled in a catena of judgments including in the case of Nipun Saxena v Union of india wherein it was held by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, that the name, address, school or other particulars which may be lead to the identification of the child in conflict with law/victim cannot be disclosed in the media. No picture of such a child, or any such particular which can directly or indirectly disclose her identity, can be published. A child who is not in conflict with law but is a victim of an offence especially a sexual offence needs this protection even more,” contends the plea.
Gandhi’s Twitter account was temporarily locked by Twitter last week after the National Commission for Protection of Child Right issued a notice to the micro-blogging site and asked it to remove the tweet in question.