Calling the micro-blogging site’s conduct ‘obfuscatory, diversionary and tendentious’, the Delhi Police on Thursday said Twitter refuses to do one simple thing, and that is to cooperate with the law enforcement and reveal to the legal authority the information it has. The statement came in response to Twitter’s remarks on the ongoing enquiry in the ‘toolkit’ case.
The micro-blogging site on Thursday called the visit by Delhi Police to its offices a form of “intimidation” and said it was concerned about its employees and the potential threat to freedom of expression.
An official statement issued by Delhi Police PRO Chinmoy Biswal said, “Prima facie, these statements are not only mendacious but designed to impede a lawful inquiry by a private enterprise. Twitter Inc. has taken upon itself, in the garb of terms of service, to adjudicate the truth or otherwise of documents in public space.”
According to the police statement, Twitter is purporting to be both investigating authority and adjudicating authority, but has no legal sanction to be either. The only legal entity to investigate is the police and to adjudicate is the courts, the statement said, The Delhi Police said that it has registered a preliminary inquiry in the ‘toolkit’ case at the instance of a complaint filed by the representative of the Indian National Congress.
“Hence, the efforts by Twitter Inc. that portray that this as an FIR filed at the behest of the Government of India is wholly and completely incorrect,” it stated. It further said that Twitter’s statements are devised to seek “dubious sympathy” when they themselves not only refuse to comply with the law of the land but also claim to be in possession of material evidence but refuse to share it with the legal authority.
The Delhi Police had served a notice to Twitter India MD Manish Maheshwari on May 21, asking him to appear before the police with all the documents in the alleged Congress toolkit case.