Media houses, Google, Twitter asked to block links of articles, videos claiming Muslim man forced woman to convert

The Delhi High Court on Friday directed certain media houses and social media platforms, including Twitter and Google, to block the links of news reports and videos claiming that a Muslim man allegedly forced a woman to convert to Islam.

Justice Prathiba M Singh passed the order after considering that there was a severe threat which was evident from the comments made by viewers on the news reports and videos available online.

The high court issued notice to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY), Press Council of India (PCI), News Broadcasting and Digital Standards Authority (NBDSA) and Google LLC, Twitter Inc.

It also issued notice to Chairman of Sudarshan News, Suresh Chavhanke, Odisha Television Limited, Pittie Media LLP, Bharat Prakashan (Delhi) Limited which is the owner of The Organiser, Voice of the Nation’.

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The high court asked the parties to respond to the petition filed by the man, who is also facing a rape case lodged by the woman, and listed it for further hearing on May 24.

Petitioner Azmat Ali Khan, who claims to be a renowned classical music teacher, sought removal of news items and videos published and circulated on online platforms regarding the FIR lodged against him on April 19 by the woman, a Delhi resident, accusing him of forcing to convert.

The petitioner’s counsel contended that such publication and circulation is being carried out by giving a communal angle to the entire story and it was done to incite hatred in the communities involved.

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