Criminal proceedings against Microsoft India quashed

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court today quashed criminal proceedings against Microsoft India, one of the 21 websites summoned by a trial court for allegedly hosting objectionable contents.

Justice Suresh Kait set aside the trial court order for initiating criminal proceedings against the website. The high court also gave complainant Vinay Rai liberty to file a fresh complaint if he finds later any credible piece of evidence against the website.

Justice Kait passed the order, accepting the website`s plea challenging the trial court`s summons initiating criminal proceedings against it for hosting "obscene and derogatory content".

In its plea, the software giant had pointed out it was not providing any platform to people to interact with each other and post or publish their views, but was merely engaged in development and sale of software and computing solutions. Microsoft`s counsel told the court that no defamatory material was posted on its websites.

Vinay Rai had approached the trial court seeking to remove allegedly objectionable content from 21 websites, including Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Yahoo and YouTube. Among these, 12 websites are of foreign companies.

A metropolitan magistrate had summoned the websites` firms to face trial for allegedly committing offences punishable under the Indian Penal Code sections 292 (sale of obscene books and material) and 293 (sale of obscene objects to young person).

The trial court had observed that the material submitted by the complainant contained obscene pictures and derogatory articles pertaining to Hindu deities, Prophet Muhammad and Jesus Christ. Justice Kait earlier had passed a similar order quashing criminal proceedings against Yahoo India.