A Delhi court on Friday directed the ministry of home affairs (MHA) to serve summonses on various foreign-based web portals, including Facebook and Google in a criminal defamation case for hosting “objectionable content”.
Metropolitan Magistrate Jay Thareja said, “Let the accused (social networking websites) be summoned through the assistance of the MHA, Government of India. The summonses shall be returnable on September 22.”
The court is hearing a complainant filed by Vinay Rai against 21 websites under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) including Google, Facebook, Orkut, Youtube, Yahoo, Blogspot and Microsoft to remove allegedly objectionable content.
The court also dismissed two accused websites, Shyni Blog and Exbii after the complainant's counsel SPM Tripathi told the court that they do not want to proceed with the complaint against these two websites as the addresses of the juristic/legal personalities running these websites have not been found despite all efforts.
The court noted that some of the accused named in the complaint are just "brand names" and no other information, including their addresses, have been mentioned anywhere in the complaint.
Tripathi said they could send the summonses served to the websites through courier service. Senior advocate Siddharth Luthra, who appeared for Facebook India, said as per 2009 guidelines of the MHA, the summons are required to be sent to foreign countries through the ministry and the process will take at least 12 weeks time.