HC notice to Facebook, Google on church’s plea
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The Delhi High Court on Tuesday sought the replies of various social networking sites including Google and Facebook to a plea for removal of "defamatory and derogatory" articles against a church and an NGO from their sites.
Issuing notices to Google India Pvt Ltd, its subsidiaries —You Tube and Blogger— and to Facebook, Justice Valmiki Mehta sought their replies by January 7.
The court issued the notice on a joint plea of Gospel for Asia (a city-based NGO) and Believers Church, which alleged that "there are several malicious contents with intent to defame and destroy the reputation of entire the organisation (church) including it founder Metropolitan Bishop Dr K P Yohannan and Rev Fr Daniel Varghese, Diocesan Secretary of the church."
"Certain persons with vested interests are continuously trying to malign the reputation of the organisation by uploading defamatory content on the internet. The Google and other intermediaries are liable to restrict these contents as per Section 79 (3)(a) of the Information Technology Act," a complaint filed through counsel Deepak Prakash said.
The civil suit also cited the statements of former presidents, A P J Abdul Kalam and Pratibha Patil, appreciating the work of the organisation and claimed that "different government agencies verified and appreciated the work of the organisation on different occasions and stated that there was no negative remark about them from any corner."
The plea claimed that the organisation was serving in more than 13 countries, reaching out to lakhs of poor and downtrodden people and working at improving their standard of living.