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‘Peace & Harmony Cannot Be Equated With Public Order’ : Dhavan Defends Delhi Assembly Summons To Facebook VP

‘Peace & Harmony Cannot Be Equated With Public Order’ : Dhavan Defends Delhi Assembly Summons To Facebook VP

first_imgTop Stories’Peace & Harmony Cannot Be Equated With Public Order’ : Dhavan Defends Delhi Assembly Summons To Facebook VP Nupur Thapliyal10 Feb 2021 8:34 AMShare This – xDefending the summons issued by Delhi Assembly’s Committee on Peace and Harmony to the Vice President of Facebook in relation to enquiry into alleged role played by hate speech and fake news in Delhi riots, Senior Advocate Rajeev Dhavan made submissions before the Supreme Court on behalf of the Committee.Responding to the petitioners’ arguments that the enquiry into riots was a matter beyond…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginDefending the summons issued by Delhi Assembly’s Committee on Peace and Harmony to the Vice President of Facebook in relation to enquiry into alleged role played by hate speech and fake news in Delhi riots, Senior Advocate Rajeev Dhavan made submissions before the Supreme Court on behalf of the Committee.Responding to the petitioners’ arguments that the enquiry into riots was a matter beyond the competence of Delhi assembly (as ‘public order’ was not a subject on which Delhi assembly has jurisdiction), Dhavan submitted :”To say public order and police is equivalent to peace and harmony is incorrect. The police comes at the last stage if the scene becomes unmanageable. But to equate peace and harmony with public order and police makes us almost like a fascist state.”  Dr. Dhavan submitted that the functions of Delhi Legislative Assembly cannot be narrowed down and that the Assembly has the function to deal with all the matters affecting the welfare of Government of NCT of Delhi. A bench comprising Justices S.K. Kaul, Dinesh Maheshwari and Hrishikesh Roy was hearing the matter.Dr. Dhavan began today’s submissions by arguing that the Committee on Peace and Harmony can summon non members to appear before it and to give evidence on oath. He rejected the submissions made by Mr. Salve on behalf of Mr. Ajit Mohan that the Committee did not have the power to summon non members and compel their appearance.  Dhavan further argued that Mr. Ajit Mohan was the “public face of Facebook” as he appeared before the Parliamentary Committee on 2nd September 2020, prior to the issuance of the two summons by the Committee of Peace and Harmony. In arguing so, Dr. Dhavan submitted that Mr. Ajit Mohan cannot claim independent entity in this case. “What this tells us is that Mr. Mohan is a representative of Facebook and Facebook alone. In that capacity he goes to parliament and gives speech. This speech indicates that the evidence of Facebook is relevant.” Dhavan argues. On the relevancy of the Committee for calling Facebook to appear before it, Dr. Dhavan submitted: “Facebook knows in Delhi there is a disturbed areas. It knows in India there are parameters to deal with hate speech. Facebook tackles hate speech and this is why it is relevant to peace and harmony. Ajit Mohan is face of Facebook and that is a matter in public domain.” Talking about the position of Facebook in the present case, Dhavan went ahead to argued “Facebook is an international concern. 13 parliaments of the world got together and summoned Facebook and it refused to appear. Out of these 13 parliaments, 9 formed the Committee. After screening, the Committee found 2110 complaints from social media. I am willing to put that on record and affidavit.” Moving ahead, Dhavan argued that the Committee and the Delhi Legislative Assembly are in fact two different entities which function independently. In arguing so, Dhavan termed the Committee as “an autonomous body” functioning independently from the Assembly. “The way it works, it is true that the Assembly issues notice. Secretariat does it. It is signed by the deputy secretary. Either we say that the committee is under continuous control of assembly, but it’s not. It’s an autonomous body which submits a report to the Assembly.” Dhavan submitted. The bench will continue the hearing tomorrow i.e. 11th February 2021. Complete updates from the hearing available here.Previous Reports can be read here:Facebook Cannot Invoke Article 32; Ajit Mohan’s Rights Not Violated : Delhi Assembly Tells Supreme CourtDelhi Assembly Competent To Discuss Delhi’s Peace & Harmony : Singhvi Defends Summons To Facebook VPAny “Senior, Responsible Officer” From Facebook Can Appear Before Delhi Legislative Assembly: Dr. Abhishek Singhvi Clarifies Before Supreme CourtNext Storylast_img read more