New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed the plea filed by Facebook India Vice President and MD Ajit Mohan and others challenging the summons issued by Delhi Assembly’s Peace and Harmony committee for failing to appear before it as a witness in connection with the north-east Delhi riots matter.
A bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Dinesh Maheshwari and Hrishikesh Roy, said that the Delhi Assembly Committee has the “right to seek information on any matter related to peace and harmony without encroaching (the) domain of the central laws.”
The court termed Mohan’s plea as pre-mature and said nothing has happened against him before Assembly’s panel.
However, the apex court held that the Assembly Panel cannot don the role of a prosecuting agency and direct the filing of a chargesheet.
“The statements made by the assembly panel about making Facebook a co-accused in the chargesheet are outside its scope. The statements are hardly conducive to the fairness of the investigation,” the bench stated.
On February 24, the bench had reserved its verdict on the petition.
In his plea, Mohan stated that the committee lacks the power to summon or hold petitioners in breach of its privileges for failing to appear and it was exceeding its constitutional limits.
He had challenged earlier notices issued by the committee that sought Mohan’s presence before the panel which is probing the Delhi riots in February and Facebook’s role in the spread of alleged hate speeches.
The Delhi Assembly had said that no coercive action has been taken against Mohan and he was only summoned by its committee to appear as a witness in connection with the north-east Delhi riots.