Advocate Sanjay Hegde serves legal notice on Twitter

Sanjay Hegde

Seeking restoration of his suspended Twitter account and a public apology, senior advocate Sanjay Hegde has served a legal notice upon the social media platform. The notice is also addressed to Union Minister for Electronics Information and Technology, Ravi Shankar Prasad, asking for the Ministry's intervention.

The notice states that Hegde's tweets do not fall under any category of prohibited posts including violence, abuse/harassment or hateful conduct.

The advocate who sent the notice stated that the suspension of Hegde's Twitter account was arbitrary and illegal.

“The same is also an infringement to my client's right to freedom of speech and expression under Article 19 (1) (a) of the Indian Constitution,” he noted.

Twitter was also asked to issue a public apology to Hegde for infringing his fundamental rights and tarnishing his image in public.

In the notice to Twitter, the advocate submitted: “It is clarified that the image depicting Landmesser not performing the Nazi salute has been regarded as a symbol of resistance. Pandey's poem is a comment against a capitalist system that denies basic rights to the poor.”

The background

On October 27, Hegde had posted a picture of August Landmesser, a historical figure who had refused to do the Nazi salute at a rally where everyone else did. But Twitter's algorithm misjudged that iconic picture against majoritarianism as a Nazi image. His account was blocked.

But a massive uproar online forced Twitter to restore his account the next day. However, in another twist, the account was blocked again. Reason: He had shared a poem titled 'Hang Him' in 2017!

Hegde explained that he had retweeted Gorakh Pande's poem posted by Kavita Krishnan. It was about the hanging of two peasant revolutionaries in Independent India. Twitter told Hegde that his account would be restored again if the objectionable post was removed. But he refused.

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