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Why Yahoo is paying Rs 2 lakh over ‘anti-national’ protest photo!

punjab Updated: Mar 10, 2016 21:28 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
yahoo.com

Activists of the Student Federation of India (SFI) from Himachal Pradesh University (HPU) filed a case against internet giant Yahoo.com over use of their photo to denote a protest on Jadavpur University in Kolkata.(HT File Photo, for representation purpose only)

What’s the matter?

Activists of the Student Federation of India (SFI) from Himachal Pradesh University (HPU) filed a case against internet giant Yahoo.com over use of their photo to denote a protest on Jadavpur University in Kolkata. The FIR was registered on February 21 on the complaint of Vikram Kayath of the SFI, a wing of the Community Party of India-Marxist (CPM); and he had said the report was an attempt to defame him and the SFI.

What about the photo?

The photo was a usual protest on HPU campus but Yahoo used it with an article about students allegedly raising slogans against the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru at Jadavpur University. These slogans were termed anti-national.

Why the hoopla?

The report was titled ‘Now, Jadavpur varsity students raise pro-Afzal slogans’, and had come just after similar slogans were allegedly raised on the campus of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi. The JNU row sparked off a national storm which had led to arrest of JNU student union president Kanhaiya Kumar and others.

What did Yahoo.com say?

In the Himachal Pradesh high court, Yahoo’s counsel Randeep Singh Rai argued that the FIR was bad in law since Yahoo had no criminal intent to commit an offence. On Tuesday, when Yahoo had filed the petition for quashing the FIR, the lawyer had told the court that his client was ready to pay compensation of Rs 2 lakh to the respondents.

What court ruled; what about the money?

The court on Wednesday quashed the FIR and ruled, “Since the parties have amicably resolved the matter and, moreover, the petitioner has also prominently published a public apology on its website on February 25 and 26, 2016, no useful [purpose] will be served by keeping the FIR proceedings pending.” The court directed Yahoo to deposit Rs 2 lakh in the court within one week.

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