SC to hear Facebook's plea on Tuesday
New Delhi, Aug 19 (IANS) The Supreme Court will on Tuesday hear a plea by Facebook Inc, seeking transfer of cases pending in three High Courts for linking social media accounts with Aadhaar.
Appearing for Facebook, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi told a bench of Justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose that the transfers would serve the interests of justice by avoiding the possibility of conflicting decisions from the four common cases.
Facebook told the court that two petitions have been filed in Madras High Court while one each in Bombay and Madhya Pradesh High Court.
All the pleas have sought a declaration that Aadhaar or any other government authorised identity proof should be made mandatory to authenticate social media accounts.
"All the common cases seeks similar relief and involve the similar question of law", the plea said adding that any finding on the common questions would have far reaching implications for the general public and the parties.
The petitioner has also sought stay on proceedings in various high courts.
Facebook said that it would suffer irreparable loss if the proceedings are not stayed at this stage, as conflicting decisions on the prayer seeking to link Aadhaar with social media platforms would adversely impact the Petitioner's platform which is used throughout India.
The plea also said that transfer would serve the interests of judicial economy and avoid forcing the parties to litigate the same issue in multiple forums.
The plea said that the common questions involve the interpretation of important Central statutes including the Information Technology Act, 2000 and the Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019 which would directly impact the central and state governments.
The Madras High Court had expanded the scope of the case to consider the issue of online abuse and fake news being circulated through social media and also sought to define the liabilities of intermediaries in cases of fake news and cyber abuse.
Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp and Google have submitted before the High Court that it is not possible for them to monitor each and every personal content.