The Delhi High Court, on January 6, issued a notice to the Ministry of Electronics and Technology (MeitY) and Twitter, seeking their stance on the petition filed by senior advocate Sanjay Hegde, reported the Economic Times. A single judge bench of Justice Navin Chawla, issued the notice, and listed the case for further hearing on February 11. Hegde had moved the Delhi High Court in December 2019, asking the central government to “frame guidelines to ensure that online speech is not arbitrarily censored by social media websites” such as Twitter. Hegde had filed after Twitter had permanently disabled his account on November 5, 2019, for "hateful imagery" showinga picture of a Nazi dissenter as his profile’s header image. Arguments made in the brief hearing: In what was reportedly a brief hearing, Senior Advocate Jaideep Gupta, who was representing Hegde, argued about the maintainability of the writ petition against Twitter, and sought that the platform should not delete Hegde’s account data. According to Bar and Bench, Gupta argued that a petition can be filed against non-state actors for violating Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution, basing his argument on a judgement passed by a division bench of the Delhi High Court. He reportedly said that “Twitter qualified as an audio visual media or closely related media which was performing a public function”. Senior Advocate Kirtiman Singh, representing the central government, reportedly argued that guidelines pertaining to censorship on social media already exist. Sanjay Hegde's petition: The petition, filed by advocate Pranjal Kishore on…
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