Twitter Account Blocking- Aakar Patel Withdraws His Application After Karnataka High Court Warns Him Of Heavy Cost
Former India head of Amnesty International Aakar Patel withdrew his application for intervention in the ongoing case filed by Twitter before the Karnataka High Court challenging orders issued by the Center for blocking of Twitter accounts.
The Bench of Justice Krishna S. Dixit warned that a heavy cost of not less than ₹ 25 Lakhs will be imposed on Patel for wasting the time of the Court.
"If your submission is accepted then there could be lakhs of persons whose accounts are blocked. If they are permitted, the Court will be full," the Court said before Patel withdrew his application.
During the hearing, the Court observed on Thursday that the maturity level of some internet users is not up to the mark and they may believe in anything they come across. Justice Dixit said, "Maturity level of a section of society is not up to the mark. A section of people believe whatever comes."
Senior Advocate Ashok Haranahalli, arguing on behalf of Twitter submitted that providing notice to those whose accounts are taken down was a procedural requirement but this was not being done. Communicating reasons is advisable so that persons whose right is affected can raise an appeal, he argued.
"Merely because it is against our interest should we block a foreign handle?" the senior counsel asked and cited the example of the farmers protests in Delhi and said "some tweets may be defamatory but should accounts be blocked?"
He concluded his arguments on Thursday by submitting that citizens need to find out what is correct information. Not everyone depends on newspapers. Many people use social media for this purpose. Therefore, to block the flow of information is wrong, he contended.
The hearing of the case was adjourned to November 16 after Additional Solicitor General M B Nargund sought time to make his submissions.
With PTI inputs