In a hearing that lasted about 45 minutes in Court Room 13 on August 20, the Supreme Court division bench, constituting Justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose, scheduled the next hearing on Facebook’s transfer petition for September 13. The hearing on the WhatsApp traceability case, scheduled for today at the Madras High Court, has not been stayed. They also directed the court to issue notices to all respondents in the petition. Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal represented WhatsApp while former Attorney General of India Mukul Rohatgi stood for Facebook. Tejas Karia and Vivek Reddy were also there on Facebook’s behalf. The Attorney General of India K.K. Venugopal represented the State of Tamil Nadu, one of the respondents. Virag Gupta appeared for K. N. Govindacharya, an RSS ideologue, who has petitioned the court to be impleaded in the case. Other respondents, including Twitter, Google, YouTube, government agencies, and intervener in the Madras High Court case — Internet Freedom Foundation —, were not present. As a notice will be issued to the Union of India, sources have told MediaNama that most probably, the Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta will appear for the Union of India. Facebook had filed this transfer petition, on July 31, 2019, to transfer four petition, currently being heard in Madras, Bombay and Jabalpur High Courts, under Article 139A of the Constitution of India which grants the Supreme Court the authority to combine similar questions of law pending before different High Courts as one: 139A. Transfer of certain cases…
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