Social Media To Drop Weblinks Of Offending Articles Against Judge: Court

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The court asked the alleged contemnors to file their response to the contempt notice

New Delhi:

The Delhi High Court today directed two social media platforms to block the weblinks of an offending article levelling "scandalous" allegations against a sitting judge of the high court.

The court was hearing a plea in a contempt case against Swaminathan Gurumurthy, the editor of the Chennai-based weekly Thuglak magazine, for his tweets against the judge.

A bench of justices Hima Kohli and Manoj Kumar Ohri allowed the plea of advocate Rajshekhar Rao, on whose complaint the High Court had initiated on its own the contempt proceedings, seeking to implead various persons and entities as respondents.

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The court allowed his application to replace Facebook India and Twitter India with their parent US-based firms, Facebook Inc and Twitter Inc, which are responsible for taking down the URLs from the platforms.

It directed the intermediaries to block the URLs/weblinks where the offending articles were uploaded by some private persons.

The court asked the alleged contemnors to file their response to the contempt notice and listed the matter for December 11.

The court had on October 29 issued contempt notice to Gurumurthy and sought his response.

Gurumurthy is also a part-time director of the Reserve Bank of India.

After a high court bench headed by Justice S Muralidhar passed an order on October 1 releasing rights activists Gautam Navlakha from house arrest in the Koregaon-Bhima violence case, Gurumurthy had tweeted remarks against the judge.

The high court, which took up the matter after receiving a letter from advocate Rao who sought contempt action against the scribe, had said the tweets and online video making allegations against the judge should be taken down.

Mr Rao, in his letter, has stated that the tweet was a deliberate attempt to attack the sitting high court judge.

Earlier in March this year, the high court had dubbed as "mischievous" certain tweets by the journalist in connection with its decision granting interim protection from arrest to Karti Chidambaram, son of senior Congress leader P Chidambaram in the INX Media money laundering case.

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