Appearing before a city court on Tuesday, Union home ministry under secretary Amar Chand suggested initiating extradition proceedings to secure the presence of some US-based websites, including Facebook and Google, in a criminal case launched against them for allegedly hosting “objectionable content”.
Metropolitan Magistrate Jay Thareja said he would not take any coercive steps against the websites at this stage, but directed Amar Chand to assist complainant Vinai Rai's lawyer in completing the formalities for serving summons to the websites concerned.
“In the present case, all the accused are corporations/juristic personalities. It is appropriate that they be served by way of summonses. Therefore, advocate for the complainant has been directed to complete/fill the forms supplied by Amar Chand in response to the summonses sent on June 12, 2012.” The matter will come up for hearing on October 18.
The complainant, Vinay Rai, brought a criminal case against 21 websites under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) including Google, Facebook, Orkut, YouTube, Yahoo, Blogspot and Microsoft.
He sought the removal of alleged objectionable content from the websites, and their prosecution for allegedly committing offences such as circulating obscene materials as part of a criminal conspiracy.
Referring to the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) between USA and India, Amar Chand said instead of issuing summons to them, the court should initiate extradition proceedings.
According to the treaty, even if the court issued summonses to these websites, the legal process would take a lot of time.