The Delhi High Court on Monday in an ‘early hearing’ of a petition filed by senior Supreme Court lawyer Sanjay Hegde on suspension of his social media account, ordered the petitioner to ‘live without Twitter.’
As per Live Law India, when the Counsel brought to the Bench’s notice that his client’s Twitter account had been suspended for over two years now, Justice Rakhi Palli remarked, “It is not urgent, your client can do without #twitter.”
Justice Palli further advised the senior advocate to join other available social media platforms such as Instagram. “We have more important matters today. None of us are on Twitter, he can switch to Instagram or any other platform,” she said. Thus, the Court denied an urgent hearing over his petition.
‘Have right to suspend any account’
Twitter in response to the same plea in July this year had informed the Delhi High Court that it ‘can suspend the account of any individual user found in breach of their service agreement and that it has a “contractual obligation” to do so.’
“…the provision of services on Twitter is pursuant to a contractual obligation which the petitioner (Hegde) has signed up for, and the said contract gives Respondent No 2 (Twitter) the right to suspend an account if it is in violation of the user agreement and its policies. This shows that Respondent No 2 is merely discharging its contractual obligations,” read Twitter’s response.
The micro-blogging platform further stated that it is not in any way obliged to further the freedom of speech and expression guaranteed under the Indian Constitution.
In December 2019, the senior advocate had moved the high court challenging the permanent suspension of his account by Twitter. According to Hegde’s petition, he was allegedly suspended for quoting Kavita Krishnan, secretary of All India Progressive Women’s Association and member of CPI(ML) Tweet.
Hegde had contested that the suspension of his account was illegal and that it is also in violation of his right to free speech and expression guaranteed by Article 19 (1) (a)of the Indian Constitution.
Prior to the final suspension, Hegde’s Twitter account was suspended multiple times. In October 2019, he claimed his account was suspended for having the Nazi resistance image as his header image. The platform restored his account only after he deleted the image.