Twitter India is an independent entity as its parent company Twitter Inc does not have a single stake in it, Twitter India Managing Director Manish Maheshwari claimed in the Karnataka High Court on Thursday.
The petition by a single judge challenging the notice issued by the Uttar Pradesh Police was presented during the hearing by a single judge bench, as part of its probe into a communally sensitive video uploaded by a user on the Twitter platform. Personal presence was demanded. .
Justice G Narendra’s order is expected to be pronounced on Friday.
As Justice Narendra wanted to know whether US-headquartered Twitter Inc. can be called a parent company, Mr. Maheshwari’s counsel CV Nagesh said, “Twitter Inc. is a parent company. We have nothing to do with it (Twitter Inc.) No. (Twitter India) is an independent organization and an independent institution.”
When the judge asked about the promoters and shareholding pattern of Twitter India, Mr. Nagesh said that Twitter India is only an affiliated company of Twitter Inc. The judge then pointed out that there is no such thing as an affiliated company.
In general terms, depending on the shareholding and the memorandum of association it is called an associate company or an associate.
To this, Mr. Nagesh said, “Let me go on record that Twitter USA (Inc) does not have a single share in Twitter India. Therefore I am submitting that it is a completely separate entity.”
Ghaziabad Police’s counsel P Prasanna Kumar said Twitter Inc “will face the consequences of saying they don’t know who Twitter India is”.
“My instructions are that 99 per cent of the company’s shares are held by Twitter Inc.,” Mr. Kumar said.
All the associates of the petitioner till date have been representing Twitter India as well as Twitter Inc before Central Government agencies, Mr. Kumar said.
He argued that “unless Twitter India officials were interconnected”, the board of Twitter Inc. would not have authorized its Twitter India employees to represent them to central government agencies.
Justice Narendra said that the board of directors can authorize anyone.
During the debate, Mr. Nagesh on Friday offered to keep a memo on record that Twitter USA is not even a shareholder.
Explaining the shareholding pattern, he said that Twitter International Company, headquartered in Ireland, holds 9,999 shares, while Twitter Netherlands holds one share. However, it is Twitter Inc. that runs the platform.
The Ghaziabad (Uttar Pradesh) police had on June 21 issued a notice under Section 41-A of CrPC, asking Mr Maheshwari to report at Loni Border Police Station at 10:30 am on June 24.
He then moved the Karnataka High Court as he resides in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
On June 24, the High Court, in an interim order, restrained the Ghaziabad police from initiating any coercive action against him.
Justice Narendra had also said that if the police wanted to interrogate him, they could do so through virtual mode.
The Ghaziabad Police on June 15, Twitter Inc., Twitter Communications India Pvt Ltd (Twitter India), news website . registered a case against Wire, besides journalists Mohammad Zubair and Rana Ayyub, Congress leaders Salman Nizami, Muskoor Usmani, Shama Mohammed and writer Saba Naqvi.
He was booked after a video circulated in which an elderly man, Abdul Shamad Saifi, alleged that he was thrashed by some youths, who also asked him to chant “Jai Shri Ram” on June 5. .
According to the police, the video was shared to create communal unrest.
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)