Alibaba or Jack Ma yet to respond to summons by Gurugram court
The case against Jack Ma and Alibaba has brought back focus on allegations that some Chinese firms are used as strategic tools by their government.Updated: Jul 26, 2020 18:42 IST
Alibaba founder and celebrated Chinese entrepreneur Jack Ma is yet to respond to summons asking him and his company to appear before a Gurugram court by July 29 in a case of alleged wrongful termination from employment, filed by former executive of UC Web mobile company, Pushpandra Singh Parmar, according to a news agency.
“My client Pushpandra Singh Parmar has filed a civil suit against Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba Group, for wrongful termination. He was working as an Associate Director with Alibaba’s UC Web Mobile Company,” Parmar’s lawyer Atul Ahlawat was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Parmar, in his petition, is seeking a compensation of Rs 2 crores from the company alleging he was thrown out unceremoniously for objecting to alleged censorship of content and peddling of fake news on the Chinese mobile web platform, Reuters reported.
UC Web mobile application was among the 59 applications banned by the Indian government recently over national security considerations. The decision was announced weeks after boundary clashes with China killed 20 Indian soldiers in eastern Ladakh. China has protested against the ban.
Parmar claims that he was dismissed for raising similar concerns, according to a report by Reuters. Parmar alleges the company used to censor content seen as unfavourable to China. He also accused UC Browser and UC News of showcasing false news “to cause social and political turmoil”.
The civil case was filed in the Gurugram court on July 20 following which, Jack Ma and Alibaba were summoned to appear in court either personally or through a lawyer. However, Parmar’s lawyer Ahlawat said there has been no response from the defendants so far.
“Gurugram District Court has issued summons to the defendants, including Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba Group. Summons are returnable for 29th July. Till date, we have not received any response from the defendants,” Atul Ahlawat was quoted as saying by ANI.
The judge has also sought written responses from the company and its executives within 30 days, according to the summons cited by Reuters.
Parmar says he worked as an associate director at the UC Web office in Gurugram until October 2017 and he has attached clippings of some posts he claims were highlighted on the UC News app, which were false.
Two of them were on very sensitive issues including demonetization and India-Pak tensions. While the first one from 2017 claimed that Indian currency of Rs 2,000 denomination will go out of circulation from midnight, the other one posted in 2018 claimed a war had broken out between India and Pakistan, according to the Reuters news report.
Neither of the events actually took place.
The petition also alleges that UC Web censored content considered unfavourable to China on its platform by filtering search strings such as “India-China border” and “Sino-India war”.