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HC notice on scribe Aarti Tikoo's plea against Twitter's decision to 'lock' her account

New Delhi, Jan 11 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Tuesday issued a notice on journalist Aarti Tikoo's plea challenging Twitter's decision to lock her account and deleting her tweet allegedly in violation of its rules on hateful conduct.

Seeking the response of the Centre and Twitter Inc, a single bench of Justice Rekha Palli granted three weeks' time for filing a counter-affidavit and two weeks' time for filing of the rejoinder in the matter.

The journalist, identified as a member of the Kashmiri Pandit community, in her petition approached the court following the ban on her account in the microblogging platform after she raised an alarm about Islamic terrorists from Kashmir issuing death threats to her brother.

It further contended that the action of Respondent 2A (Twitter Inc) has perhaps the intended effect of silencing the voice of the petitioner who is a Kashmiri Pandit at the behest of Islamists. This is in effect a violation of her right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution of India and forces her to relive the trauma that she experienced as a refugee in her own country.

The petition contended that on December 14, the petitioner's cousin Sahil Tikoo had a discussion in a Twitter space wherein he was called an Indian agent, and a lot of other allegations were made against him.

On December 15, tagging the Home Minister Office's handle on Twitter, Aarti Tikoo - founder and editor of 'The New Indian' - had posted a tweet which read: "My brother @TikooSahil_ who lives in Srinagar, is being openly threatened by jihadi terrorists sitting in Kashmir-India, and their handlers in Pakistan, UK and US. Is anyone watching? Are we sitting ducks waiting to be shot dead by Islamists or will you crackdown on them?".

Her plea stated that it is clear that the arbitrary action of Respondent No.2 in suspending the account of the Petitioner for merely calling out radical Islamism is something that deserves to be censured and quashed.