Court refuses to make Centre a party to suit against websites

Court seeks action against various social networking sites for allegedly hosting objectionable contents.

Written by Agencies | New Delhi | Published:May 4, 2012 6:16 pm

A Delhi court today refused to make the Centre a party to a civil suit,seeking action against various social networking sites for allegedly hosting objectionable contents.

Administrative Civil Judge Praveen Singh also dismissed the plea to review his order for dropping Google India and others from the list of parties against whom the suit had been filed by one Mufti Aijaz Arshad Qasmi.

The judge also imposed a cost of Rs 10,000 on Quasmi for filing,what the court said,was frivolous pleas leading to the wastage of court’s time.

Qasmi had said Centre should be made a co-plaitiff “for proper adjudication of the suit as it related to public,religious and national issues.”

The judge,however,said,”The application of the plaintiff is devoid of merits. The application has been filed without disclosing any ground on how and why Union of India is a necessary party.

“No court and no litigant can force anyone to prosecute a lis (dispute) or become a plaintiff or pursue a lis as a plaintiff or petitioner before the court,” the judge said.

Qasmi had also sought review of the court’s April 12 order by which Google India,Youtube India,Orkut India and Blogspot India were dropped from the list of parties against whom the suit had been filed.

The court had dropped them as parties to the suit after Qasmi and his counsel Santosh Pandey had said they had no objection to their being dropped.

In their plea,seeking their restoration as parties,they had said they had given their no objection for deletion of the names of Google India and the other three parties “inadvertently” and due to some “confusion.”

“The act of plaintiff was not the act of an uninformed,unassisted litigant but was a decision arrived at after due discussion with his counsel,” the judge said and added there was no new ground for the court to review its earlier order.

The court said,”The petition is devoid of all merits,is frivolous and is dismissed with a cost of Rs 5,000 to be paid to Delhi State Legal Services Authority.”

The court has now asked Facebook (US) to file its written statement after noting that summons have been served to it through e-mail.

After the dropping of case against Microsoft and Yahoo and deletion of other parties among the 22 entities against whom the suit had been filed for allegedly hosting objectionable content,the case is on now only against six – Facebook (India and US),Google Inc,Orkut,Youtube and Blogspot (through Google Inc CEO Larry Page).

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