Tue. Jun 15th, 2021

A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court to restrain social media platforms from carrying Islamophobic content on their timelines and to direct a CBI or NIA probe against Twitter and its users involved in putting out “inflammatory posts”.

The petition filed by Khaja Aijazuddin refers to how “massive publicity was given by the media that many of the positive cases of symptoms of coronavirus were found from Tablighi Jamaat at Nizamuddin in Delhi”.

“There was a massive trending of tweets on Twitter attaching the Muslim religion to the cause of spread of coronavirus,” Mr. Aijazuddin said in his petition filed in May.

“Restrain all online social media networks operating in India not to carry any Islamophobic posts or messages hurting or insulting the feelings of a particular community. Moreover, with respect to the prayer for issuing directions to the Government of India to register criminal complaint against Twitter and its users, who are spreading hatred messages,” the petition said.

Specific guidelines

It asked the court to direct the government to frame specific guidelines under the Information Technology Act of 2000 about “hate messages against any religious community including Islamophobic posts on various social media platforms”.

Mr. Aijazuddin said he was “aggrieved with trending on Twitter under the name and styled #Islamiccoronavirusjihad, etc”.

It amounted to promoting hatred against a particular religion, which is a criminal offence both under the Indian Penal Code and the Information Technology Act of 2000, he said.

He had initially moved the Telangana High Court, which directed him to approach the Supreme Court, he noted.

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