The Supreme Court on Thursday issued notice to the Centre and seven states including Karnataka on a plea by Twitter India to quash multiple FIRs against it for allegedly promoting a tweet in favour of 'Khalistan' by Gurpatwant Singh Pannun.
At least 12 criminal complaints have been registered against Twitter after Pannun tweeted a Twitter poll on "whether India should recognise Khalistan'2020."
A bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and comprising Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian sought a response from the Centre and the states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Haryana, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
Senior advocate Sajan Poovayya represented Twitter Communications India Pvt Ltd.
The plea claimed Vinit Goenka, former National Co-Convener of the BJP IT cell and other complainants alleged that Twitter had taken financial consideration to promote Pannun's tweet, but the micro-blogging site had already disabled the tweet and suspended his account.
Twitter said Goenka launched a public smear campaign against it alleging the platform is anti-India and operating against the sovereignty of the country.
The plea said given Goenka’s political stature and the provocative nature of his public exhortations, he has been able to successfully campaign to encourage the filing of criminal complaints against Twitter India.
Citing Arnab Goswami case, Twitter also sought consolidation of all FIRs filed against it into one complaint at Tinsukia.