Delhi panel defers proceedings after SC order on summons to Facebook

By: |
September 23, 2020 7:46 PM

The Peace and Harmony Committee of the Delhi Assembly said it would notify its further course of action and the next date of sitting in due course of time.

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Delhi Assembly panel, which had summoned Facebook India vice president Ajit Mohan with regard to the northeast Delhi riots, deferred its proceedings on Wednesday after the Supreme Court stopped it from taking any “coercive” action.

The Peace and Harmony Committee of the Delhi Assembly said it would notify its further course of action and the next date of sitting in due course of time.

The announcement came hours after the Supreme Court directed the committee not to take coercive action against Mohan till October 15 in connection with its summon asking him to depose before it.

“In view of the issues of law pending before the Supreme Court, today’s proceedings before the Delhi Legislative Assembly’s Committee on Peace & Harmony has been deferred,” it said in a statement. “Further course of action and next date of sitting of committee will be notified in due course.”

The committee had issued a fresh notice to Mohan to appear before it on Wednesday after he did not appear before the panel for deposition in the previous hearing on September 16.

The apex court’s order came on a plea by Mohan, Facebook India Online Services Pvt. Ltd and Facebook Inc, which contended that the committee lacked the power to summon or hold petitioners in breach of its privileges for failing to appear and it was exceeding its constitutional limits.

They challenged the notices by the committee that sought Mohan’s presence before the panel, which is probing the communal violence in February and the social network’s role in spread of alleged hate speeches.

The panel had earlier said it took cognisance of allegations against Facebook for its alleged complicity in the riots on the premise of “incriminatory material” produced on record by the witnesses, as well as their depositions in its previous meetings.

The committee, chaired by AAP MLA Raghav Chadha, had begun its hearing in the backdrop of a ‘Wall Street Journal’ report that claimed that one of Facebook India’s senior policy executives intervened in internal communication to stop a permanent ban on a BJP lawmaker from Telangana after he allegedly shared communally-charged posts.

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