The Delhi High Court has sought the response of Twitter on a plea challenging the suspension of a user account for alleged violation of rules.

Justice V Kameswar Rao issued notice to Twitter and the Centre on the petition by Jasdeep Munjal who said that on February 24, when he tried to login to his Twitter handle @MeghBulletin, he saw that his account was suspended by the US-based social media platform without giving any notice to him.

The Court listed the petition for further hearing on March 30, when several other similar matters will be heard.

The Centre was represented through Standing Counsel Manish Mohan.

Senior Advocate Sajan Poovayya, representing Twitter, said the writ petition was not maintainable against the platform as it was a private entity.

The petition said that after the suspension of the account, the petitioner received an email from Twitter stating that the account has been suspended for violating the Twitter rules.

"A lot of Twitter users, including various social media influencers and friends, expressed their sympathy for the arbitrary suspension of the petitioner's account. The same thing happened with the petitioner's previous twitter handle @MeghUpdates which had more than 1,68,000 followers and millions of impressions per month at the time of its suspension," Munjal, represented through Advocate Raghav Awasthi, said.

He claimed that there were multiple accounts which were impersonating the petitioner's account for getting indirect benefits and removing his handle from the platform without any notice has also given an unquestioned opportunity to fake handles in spreading false news in his name.

"The action of Twitter is violative of various provisions of the Constitution including Articles 14, 19 and 21 inasmuch as it is an impairment of the right to free speech and is arbitrary". "Furthermore, there is no provision under which content can be edited or modified before transmission suo-motu by an intermediary like Twitter. In other words, there is no sanction for this action under the Information Technology Act, 2000 and the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021," the plea, filed through Advocate Mukesh Sharma said.

It sought quashing of Twitter's February 24 decision by which the petitioner's account was suspended.

With PTI inputs