The ongoing lawsuit against several social networking websites in the country allegedly hosting objectionable content took a major turn yesterday, when a Delhi court judge ruled in favour of Google India, and other websites like, Exbii, IMC India, My Lot, Shyni Blog, Topix, Zombie Time and Boardreader, thereby dropping all charges against them. Administrative Civil Judge Praveen Singh, during the hearing on Thursday affirmed that it had observed that while, unlike the other accused in the case, Google India does not operate any social networking website, and instead is a software development firm; the other websites, too “were not found to be proper parties to the suit.” With a host of names now being dropped from the lawsuit, the hearings would proceed as before for the remaining six, which include – Facebook (India and US), Google Inc, Orkut, Youtube and Blogspot (through Google Inc CEO Larry Page). 

& the trial continues ... (Image credit: Getty Images)

Not guilty! (Image credit: Getty Images)

According to reports, in its plea, Google India cleared that since it is only a subsidiary of Google Inc. It is merely a software development firm and does not operate any social networking websites. Quite in agreement with the Google India's plea, the judge stated, “it is a subsidiary of Google Inc registered in India and is a software developer company which has no role in running of Google Inc.” Reportedly, the judge had allowed the firm's plea only after plaintiff Mufti Aijaz Arshad Quasmi's counsel Santosh Pandey did not show any restraint to the judge's decision to drop the names of the firms. 

The ongoing lawsuit, which will now see representatives of the six, aforementioned firms had initially begun as a full-blown lawsuit accusing roughly 22 firms operating in the country. Plaintiff Mufti Aijaz Arshad Quasmi had filed a complaint back then accusing the websites operated by these firms to have been party to objectionable content, be it in the form of text, videos, images, among other things. Quasmi was of the opinion that such instances were proving to be a deterrant to the nation's peace and sanity. The course of several hearings that have been taking place for months now, saw the court dropping the case against entities, like Microsoft India, Yahoo! India and now, Google India, along with 7 others. In one of our earlier reports, detailing the nature of the lawsuit, we had stated that the websites were accused under grievious charges of the IPC, like section 292 (sale of obscene books etc), 293 (sale of obscene objects to young person etc) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy).

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