Objectionable content: Judge throws out case against Microsoft

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By Raza /  01 Mar 2012 , 18:01

New Delhi: In what will be a huge relief for Microsoft, a Delhi court has accepted the company’s application that it should not be made a party in a case filed against the hosting of objectionable content on websitess. Microsoft is the first of 22 companies, in whose favour the civil court has ruled.

The court also imposed a fine of Rs 5000 on Mufti Aijaz Qazmi, who filed a civil suit in the Rohini court demanding the removal of objectionable and blasphemous content from 22 websites. Qasmi had submitted a CD containing a list of the material he found objectionable.

The judge agreed that there was no basis for a case against Microsoft

The counsel for Microsoft argued that there was no case against the company, as none of the website produced before the court, were hosted on Microsoft.

While Microsoft has got relief, Yahoo’s counsel also pushed for the same in the court. Its counsel argued that the petitioner had randomly selected tech companies and websites including Yahoo and made allegations that they host blasphemous and objectionable content. “There is no proof in the petitioner’s suit that the content emanates from Yahoo and therefore, Yahoo should not be made a party in this case,” he said.

When the judge asked petitioner’s counsel, Santosh Pandey, to prove that Yahoo was responsible for hosting the mentioned content, he said he needed time to prove the same.

Pandey said that his client wanted the court to direct websites to devise a screening mechanism for objectionable content. However the judge took a dim view of the request saying, “The stage of filtering the content and practising self regulation comes later. First, you need to prove how Yahoo is violating the law and on what basis you are naming it in your suit.”

Yahoo’s counsel informed the court that he wrote to the petitioner asking him on what basis he had made Yahoo an accused. However he said he did not get any response.

The court is expected to decide on Yahoo’s petition at the next hearing scheduled for 5 March.


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