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Excise policy case: Remove video from social media of court proceedings involving Kejriwal, says Delhi HC

A bench of justices Neena Bansal Krishna and Amit Sharma issued notices to six people, including Sunita Kejriwal, and social media intermediaries X, Meta and YouTube on a petition alleging violation of video conferencing rules of the Delhi High Court.
Last Updated : 15 June 2024, 05:31 IST

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New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Saturday directed social media platforms Facebook, Instagram, X, formerly Twitter, and YouTube to forthwith remove a recording of a court proceedings related to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in the liquor policy scam case.

The video related to Kejriwal's oral submission in the trial court was allegedly uploaded in various social media platforms.

Acting on a plea by Vaibhav Singh, a bench of Justices Neena Bansal Krishna and Amit Sharma said, prima facie, the court proceeding recording is violative of Rule 3(vi) of Delhi High Court Video Conferencing Rules, 2021 and couldn't be permitted to remain in public domain.

Singh, an advocate, claimed that when Arvind Kejriwal was produced before a trial court on March 28 after his arrest, he chose to address the court in-person, and the video recording of that particular court proceedings was posted on social media platforms which is prohibited under the High Court of Delhi Rules for Video Conferencing for Courts, 2021.

Singh also claimed that according to the Rules, there shall be no unauthorised recording of the proceedings by any person or entity. The video was allegedly re-posted by Sunita Kejriwal and the others, he further alleged.

Upon his plea, the HC directed social media platforms — Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube — to forthwith remove the said video.

"The social media platforms namely X (formerly 'Twitter'), Meta (formerly 'Facebook'), Instagram and YouTube are hereby directed to remove forthwith the audio/ video recording from their respective platforms," the HC said in its order.

The court issued notices to six respondents, including Sunita Kejriwal, seeking their replies in the matter.

It also mentioned the list of URLs to be removed, directing the audio/ video should be removed and not re-uploaded on their platforms till further orders.

The court fixed the matter for further hearing on July 9.

Singh sought a direction for the formation of an SIT to investigate and register an FIR against the alleged conspiracy of recording and sharing the audio and video of the court proceedings and putting the life of the trial court judge at high risk.

"Several members of the Aam Aadmi Party, including members of various other opposition parties, have intentionally and deliberately and with wilful intention to malign and manipulate the court proceedings done the audio and video recording of the court proceedings and circulated on social media platforms," he alleged.

The petitioner sought to "punish the alleged contemnor as per the provisions of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, and impose strict penalties on the individuals found guilty of violation of VC Rules 2021 of this court, as per the provisions specified in law".

He also sought the court's intervention to issue appropriate directives to social media platforms to ensure to check such unauthorised recordings and their subsequent dissemination and impose penalties for non-compliance of directions on any individual or entity.

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Published 15 June 2024, 05:31 IST

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