Mumbai Cyber Crime Investigation Cell has sent a letter asking TwoCircles, a website that writes on minority issues, to delete a story that criticised Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria. (Hat tip – Siddharth Varadarajan)

The article had quoted senior lawyer Mehmood Pracha (who is currently defending German bakery bomb blast case convict Mirza Himayat Beg) as saying that the current Mumbai Police Commissioner should be “arrested as a terrorist” and tried under anti-terror laws.

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As per the notice, a senior inspector of police at the Mumbai cyber crime investigation cell claims that, “the false and grossly offensive comments” in the article are “causing annoyance, inconvenience insult and hatred” to the Mumbai police commissioner, due to which they have requested to delete or block the article with immediate effect.

In addition to this, the cyber crime cell has also requested information such as the user’s account creation details along with IP address, date and time, their login and logout details (IP address, date & time from creation to date) and any optional e-mail id given by the user.

YouTube Interview? It’s worth noting that the article also includes a YouTube video interview of Pracha on this topic, however there is currently no information on whether the cyber crime cell has also sent a takedown request to Google to remove this and whether Google will comply or deny this request. The video is still live at the time of writing this article and has registered around 291 views at the moment.

Note that YouTube had received 56 requests to takedown 423 videos, the most requests among all Google services in the first half of 2013, however not even one of them was on the basis of a court order. In response, Google had taken down 18 videos on the basis of local laws and 4 videos on the basis of its community guidelines.

There is currently no information whether the cyber crime cell plans to file a defamation case against the lawyer for making these statements.

Last August, MouthShut founder Faisal Farooqui had mentioned that it had received over 790 takedown notices, 240 legal notices, and has 11 court cases registered against it. The company gets notices from Cyber Crime Cells across the country, among which, as per Farooqui, the Gurgaon Cyber Crime cell is particularly active, and many Cyber Crime cell notices cite section 91 of the CRPC.

Further reading:

– How India Should Approach Website Blocking
Supreme Court Of India To Hear Eight IT Act Related Cases On 11th April 2014 – SFLC
Indian Govt Asked Social Networks To Block 1299 URLs In 2013; Truth?

Also read our coverage on the Section 66A and #IndiaBlocks for a roundup of website blocking incidents in India.