Web content case: No relief to Facebook India (Lead)

May 30th, 2012 - 9:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Facebook New Delhi, May 30 (IANS) A Delhi court Wednesday dismissed the application of Facebook India seeking removal of its name from a civil suit against various social networking sites for allegedly displaying objectionable content.

Administrative Civil Judge Parveen Singh did not accept the plea of Facebook India that it was not responsible for the content appearing on website “facebook.com”.

“It also might be possible that the defendant no.1 (Facebook India) is raising revenue for the facebook.com by seeking advertisers from India for facebook.com. Thus, I find that on the grounds as alleged in the application and argued by the counsel for the defendant no.1, the defendant no.1 cannot be deleted at this stage,” said judge Singh.

The court said that the application is accordingly dismissed.

The court was hearing a petition moved by petitioner Mufti Aijaz Arshad Qasmi, an Islamic researcher linked to a website run by the Islamic Peace Foundation of India, seeking the removal of allegedly objectionable content from various websites.

The court observed during argument that Facebook India had failed to put forward any point detailing the relationship of its company with Facebook Inc. (USA).

The court observed that Memorandum of Association of the Facebook India shows the objects of the company to be carry on business in India and to promote the product of technology and others services.

“It cannot be said that Facebook India has no say in running of websites and there might be a probability that the Facebook India provides technical support and programming and developing of the website,” said the court.

Facebook India had contended that it does not control or operate the servers that host the website (facebook.com), which are located in the US.

However, Qasmi’s counsel Santosh Pandey, who argued before the court that Facebook India is a proper party to the suit, opposed the plea.

The court also rejects the plea of facebook India on ground of parity with other companies who had been dropped in the case. “I find this contentions to be untenable because the said deletion was not done on merits of the case but was done because the plaintiff has conceded the same,” said the court.

The court has listed the matter for further hearing June 4.

Qasmi, in a newly revised list submitted April 12, sought action against Facebook India, Facebook Inc, Google Inc, Orkut, Youtube Inc and Blogspot.

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