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Ex-CBI interim director approaches court over Twitter blue tick, Delhi HC imposes Rs 25,000 fine on him

Seeking restoration of the verification badge on Twitter, M Nageswara Rao in his fresh petition said that the action of Twitter is violative of various provisions of the constitution and "an impairment of the right to free speech."

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: May 18, 2022 7:20:22 pm
M Nageswara RaoRao, whose bluetick was allegedly removed in March, in his petition also argued that Twitter performs “a public function” and qualifies as a ‘State’ for the purposes of Article 12 of the Constitution of India.

The Delhi High Court has imposed a cost of Rs 25,000 on former CBI interim Director and retired IPS officer M Nageswara Rao in connection with his petition against Twitter’s decision to withdraw the bluetick from his account.

“The instant writ petition is thoroughly misconceived and is dismissed with costs quantified at Rs. 25,000,” said the court in an order released on Wednesday.

Justice Yashwant Varma said that there was “absolutely no justification” for filing of the petition when a similar plea was disposed of by the court on April 7. The court last month had granted Rao the liberty to reapply for the verification, and on Tuesday questioned why he had approached the court so soon thereafter.

In the order, Justice Varma said, “The respondents must be accorded a reasonable period of time to evaluate the representation made. The Court finds that neither can the respondent be held to have caused inordinate delay in deciding the representation nor can it be said that serious prejudice or irreparable harm has been caused to the writ petitioner and which may have warranted the filing of the present writ petition.”

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Seeking restoration of the verification badge on Twitter, Rao in his fresh petition said that the action of Twitter is violative of various provisions of the constitution and “an impairment of the right to free speech.”

“The petitioner in compliance of this Honourable court’s aforesaid order reapplied for the Verification Tag. However, as expected, [Twitter] has not reinstated the Verification  Tag (blue tick) attached to his twitter handle till date,” Rao’s counsel said in the petition.

Rao, whose bluetick was allegedly removed in March, in his petition also argued that Twitter performs “a public function” and qualifies as “State” for the purposes of Article 12 of the Constitution of India. Writs can be issued to it under Article 226 of the constitution, it was contended.

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