Twitter receives Legal Notice for suspending Senior Advocate Sanjay Hegde's account

Rintu Mariam Biju November 7 2019
Sanjay Hegde

More than a week after it suspended the account of Sanjay Hegde, Twitter recently received a legal notice filed on behalf of the Senior Advocate.

The social media giant had first suspended Hegde's account (@sanjayuvacha) on October 26, citing violation of its terms of service for tweeting. The account was suspended for using a picture of German worker August Landmesser as the cover picture. The post was categorised as "hateful imagery".

The suspension was briefly revoked on October 27, after which it was suspended again, after Hegde retweeted one of Gorakh Pandey's poems.

It is also stated that the Sanjay Hegde fails to understand why his account was suspended. The second post was only "quote tweeted" by him and the original post is still available to the public, states the notice.

The notice filed by Advocate Pranjal Kishore further states that Hegde's tweets do not fall under any of the categories of prohibited posts. These categories include violence, abuse/harassment, and hateful conduct, among others.

It is clarified that the image depicting Landmesser not performing the Nazi salute has been regarded as a symbol of resistance. Pandey's poem is a comment against a capitalist system which denies basic rights to the poor.

The notice further reads,

"It is clear from the above that suspension of my Client's Twitter account is arbitrary, illegal and Twitter's own policies. The same is also an infringement to my client's right to freedom of speech and expression under Article 19 (1) (a) of the Indian Constitution.  The Honourable Supreme Court of India has repeatedly held that even private bodies that discharge a public function to the constitution scrutiny."

As a result, the notice demands that Hegde's account be restored. Twitter has also been asked to issue a public apology to him for infringing his fundamental rights and tarnishing his image in public.

It is also made clear that failure to comply with the notice dated November 7 within three days will result in the initiation of legal proceedings, including those related to criminal defamation.