‘What are you waiting for?' Indian court tells Twitter to apologize or face fine for identifying Hyderabad rape victim

‘What are you waiting for?' Indian court tells Twitter to apologize or face fine for identifying Hyderabad rape victim

Twitter will be slapped with a fine if it fails to respond to an inquiry into its revealing the identity of the victim in a shocking Hyderabad rape case, the Delhi High Court said, urging the microblogging site to repent.

The court said Wednesday that unless Twitter formally responds to a public interest complaint within the next four weeks, it will be slapped with a fine to the tune of 1 million rupees ($14,000).

The judicial bench that heard the case said it is now waiting for written assurances from the social media giant that it would not make the same blunder again.

File an affidavit stating that you (Twitter) will not repeat it. What are you waiting for? If you are not filing the affidavit, we will impose costs.

The panel, presided by Chief Justice DN Patel, said that it used to impose fines in similar cases before and does not want to do that again. “We do not want to repeat that order,” it said.

It remains to be seen whether Twitter will heed the strongly worded advice until the next hearing, set for May 4.

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The accusations against the platform stem from the horrific kidnapping, rape and murder of a 26-year-old veterinarian by four men on the outskirts of Hyderabad last November. The gruesome crime sent shockwaves across India, prompting popular outcry with tens of thousands of people flooding the streets in the aftermath.

The suspected perpetrators were shot dead by police after they were taken to the scene to reconstruct the events leading up to the woman’s death and allegedly attempted to break free.

Their death sparked widespread celebrations across the country, with people hailing the police while thanking them for bringing about swift justice upon the four accused.

The complaint also accused other social media platforms and a range of media outlets and individuals of publicizing the details about identities of the victim and perpetrators – a crime under Indian law. Those who find themselves at fault might face up to 2 years in jail and a hefty fine.

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