Allahabad court moves against Google for Modi’s image in top criminals query

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Allahabad
  • Updated: Jul 20, 2016 13:31 IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s image turns up on Google’s search engine when doing an image query for the ‘top 10 criminals in the world’. The company reportedly issued an apology for the same last month. Search results are determined by key words and algorithms that are not manually filtered. (Arvind Yadav/HT FIle Photo)

The Allahabad district court has ordered a criminal case against US-based tech giant Google for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s image appearing among the search results for the ‘top 10 criminals of the world’.

Additional district judge (ADJ) Mahtab Ahmed on Monday issued a notice to Google’s chief executive officer and its India head while hearing a complaint filed by lawyer Sushil Kumar Mishra, who initially filed approached the chief judicial magistrate (CJM).

According to Mishra, an image of Modi appears among the results of an image search on the ‘top 10 criminals of the world’ on Google’s search engine.

Read | Google images show PM Modi in top 10 criminals

Mishra had first moved a complaint before the Civil Lines police station in Allahabad saying Google had to change this. He also wrote a letter to the company, which is based in California’s Mountain View, and requested it to remove Modi’s image. However, Mishra claimed he received no response from the company.

When the police didn’t register a case, Mishra then moved an application before the CJM, requesting the registration of a case. However, the CJM dismissed the application on November 3,2015, noting that it was a civil matter.

Mishra then challenged the CJM’s order by filing a revision application before the additional district judge, who, on Monday, allowed the revision application.

Read | This is how PM Modi showed up in Google’s #Top10Criminals list

Google had apologised almost immediately “for any confusion or misunderstanding” caused by Modi’s image when the occurrence was noticed by social media at large last year.

“This issue came up in June 2015 and we do not have a comment on this. Here is the statement we had issued at the time: ‘These results trouble us and are not reflective of the opinions of Google. Sometimes, the way images are described on the Internet can yield surprising results to specific queries. We apologize for any confusion or misunderstanding this has caused. We’re continually working to improve our algorithms to prevent unexpected results like this.’” according to a Google spokesperson.

The court set August 31 as the next date of hearing.

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