Uttar Pradesh (UP) Police earlier charged Google CEO Sundar Pichai along with 17 other personalities over a video that allegedly defamed Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Today, UP Police dropped the Pichai’s name and three other top officials from the First Information Report (FIR). A police official privy to the probe told PTI, the names have been dropped as it was found that they were not involved in the case.
Why was the complaint filed?
The FIR was filed by a local resident claiming he got over 8,500 threat calls after objecting to a video that he first came across in a WhatsApp group and later on YouTube. The FIR included names of Sundar Pichai, three Google India officials, Ghazipur district-based musicians, a recording studio and a local music label company.
The FIR has been lodged under Indian Penal Code sections 504, 506, 500 and 120B.
Section 504 is an intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace. Section 506 is criminal intimidation. Section 500 is defamation. Section 120B is party to a criminal conspiracy.
Apart from all of these penal codes being invoked, the FIR also has charges under the Information Technology Act’s section 67, which is publishing or transmitting obscene material.
What was the video?
It was basically a music video in support of Indian farmers currently protesting against the new farm laws that are being implemented in the country. The song has been made by local Ghazipur district-based musicians, who have been named in the FIR accessed by PTI.
What happens after the removal of names?
All of the Google officials’ names have been removed as they were found not involved in the case. They were dragged into it stating that the video has been spread through YouTube where it has garnered over 5,00,000 views.
The police are currently investigating all of the other points and will update the public as and when any new development takes place.