India Supreme Court ruled that Facebook must appear at the inquiry on Delhi riots

The Supreme Court of India rejected Facebook’s plea not to appear at inquiry on Delhi riots with the Delhi Legislative Assembly’s Committee on Peace and Harmony (the Committee). 

The Committee issued a summon for appearance to Managing Director Ajit Mohan of Facebook India in an inquiry related to the Delhi riots, which left more than 50 people dead in February 2020. Facebook argued that the Committee lacked authority to summon them.

According to Jurist, ‘the court emphasised the role played by Facebook in disseminating information and observed that it plays an active role and is not as innocuous while dealing with the party content. The court in its judgement made reference to Facebook’s role by disseminating misinformation and posts in ethnic cleansing in Myanmar and violence in Sri Lanka which fueled the violence.’

While the Indian Supreme Court rejected Facebook’s motion to quash the summons, it also stated that the Facebook representatives are not obliged to respond to all the questions of the Commission, and that the Commission ‘cannot don the role of (a) prosecuting agency and direct the filing of (a) chargesheet.’