SC to hear Facebook MD's plea challenging summons from Delhi assembly
The Supreme Court is scheduled to deliver its verdict on Thursday on a plea filed by social media company Facebook challenging the summons issued by the Delhi Assembly's peace and harmony committee. The notices were issued in a case related to last year's riots in northeast Delhi.
The plea was filed by vice president and managing director Ajit Mohan, Facebook India Online Services Pvt Ltd and Facebook Inc. It challenges the September 10 and 18 last year notices issued by the committee that sought Mohan's presence as a witness before the panel which is probing the Delhi riots in February and Facebook's role in the spread of alleged hate speeches.
The verdict in the case was reserved by a bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Dinesh Maheshwari and Hrishikesh Roy on February 24.
During the arguments before the apex court, Mohan’s counsel had said that “right to silence” is a virtue in present “noisy times”. The counsel also questioned the jurisdiction of the Delhi assembly, saying it has no legislative power to set up a panel to examine the issue of peace and harmony.
Senior advocate Harish Salve is representing Facebook official in the top court. He also pointed out that setting up the peace panel was not the core function of the Delhi assembly as the law and order issue fell under the domain of the Centre in the national capital.
Senior advocate AM Singhvi who was representing the panel of the assembly has responded to this saying that the assembly has the power to summon.
In an affidavit, the Delhi assembly also clarified that Mohan has not been issued any summons for breach of privilege. It also said that no coercive action has been taken against Mohan and he was just summoned by its committee to appear as a witness