‘Statement designed to impede lawful inquiry’: Delhi Police responds to Twitter

Updated on May 27, 2021 07:15 PM IST

In a statement earlier in the day, Twitter, without naming the Delhi Police, said it has concerns with regards to the use of ‘intimidation tactics’ by the police.

A team of Delhi Police's Special Cell at Twitter India's Lado Sarai office in connection with the probe into the alleged ''Covid toolkit'' matter, in New Delhi on Monday, May 24. (PTI)
A team of Delhi Police's Special Cell at Twitter India's Lado Sarai office in connection with the probe into the alleged ''Covid toolkit'' matter, in New Delhi on Monday, May 24. (PTI)
By | Edited by Karan Manral, New Delhi

The Delhi Police on Thursday responded to Twitter’s statement from earlier in the day over “use of intimidation tactics by the police,” describing it as “designed to impede a lawful inquiry” and “devised to seek dubious sympathy.”

Also Read | Twitter 'concerned' for India employees, says dialogue with Govt will continue

“We have come across press reports that quote Twitter Inc. statements pertaining to the ongoing inquiry by us. Prima facie, these statements are not only mendacious, but designed to impede a lawful inquiry by a private enterprise,” news agency ANI quoted Delhi Police officials as saying. “Twitter, being a public platform, must lead in demonstrating transparency in its functioning and should bring clarity into subject matters of public domain. Since the matter has been put in public domain, it’s important to set the record straight on tendentious statement made,” the officials were further quoted as saying.

Accusing the social media giant of purporting to be an investigating, as well as adjudicating judicial authority, they also said that the police is the only legal entity to investigate, as duly laid down in the law, while courts are the only legal entity that can adjudicate.

The officials further clarified that the Delhi Police registered a preliminary inquiry on the complaints filed by a representative of the Congress and, therefore, efforts by Twitter to portray it as a First Information Report (FIR) filed at the behest of the Government of India are “wholly and completely incorrect.”

Also Read | After Delhi Police’s visit to Twitter office, Rahul Gandhi tweets about truth

On the alleged toolkit, the officials said that the declaration by Twitter that the toolkit is “manipulated media,” clearly shows that it was aware of facts of the case, and was hence asked to join the probe to provide the information it possesses.

“Twitter’s latest statement is devised to seek dubious sympathy when they themselves not only refuse to comply with the law of the land but also claim possession of material evidence but also refuse to share it with duly recognised legal authority,” the police officials said further.

The statement put out by the San Francisco-headquartered company on Thursday morning was over the visits by officials from the Delhi Police special cell to its offices in Delhi and Gurugram in connection with the alleged toolkit on May 24, as well as over the ongoing controversy on the IT Rules, 2021. Twitter had put a “manipulated media” tag on tweets by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders Raman Singh and Sambit Patra on the alleged toolkit.

Also Read | Twitter flags Sambit Patra’s ‘Congress toolkit’ tweet as manipulated media

The ruling BJP has accused the opposition Congress of creating the toolkit to “tarnish” the image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his handling of the Covid-19 crisis. In response, the Congress has called the toolkit “fake” and filed complaints against several BJP leaders.

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