According to sources, Manish Maheshwari, the MD of Twitter India, was questioned by the Delhi Police in Bengaluru about the Congress toolkit case. According to media reports, the Delhi Police’s special cell visited Bengaluru on May 31 and questioned the India head of the social media giant about BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra’s tweet being labelled as “manipulated media.”
The Delhi police had raided the Twitter offices in south Delhi and Gurgaon on May 24 in search of senior Twitter officials. According to The Times of India, a team led by DCP Pramod Kushwaha travelled to Bengaluru after Twitter India MD Maheshwari requested time to appear before the police due to the ongoing pandemic. According to media reports, Maheshwari stated that he was willing to join the investigation in Bengaluru if possible.
In a tweet, Sambit Patra claimed that the Congress had prepared a toolkit to attack the government over its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sambit Patra’s tweet was later labelled as “manipulated media” by Twitter. The microblogging site was questioned about why it had labelled Patra’s tweets as such. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology had objected to the tag and requested that Twitter remove it while the matter was being investigated by a law enforcement agency.
The Delhi Police described Twitter’s behaviour as “obfuscatory, diversionary, and tendentious” on May 27. According to police, Twitter’s statements were not only deceptive, but also intended to obstruct a lawful investigation by a private enterprise. According to The Times of India, the statement stated that “Twitter has taken it upon itself, under the guise of terms of service, to adjudicate the truth or otherwise of documents in public space.” Twitter claims to be both an investigating authority and an adjudicating judicial authority. It is also not legally sanctioned to be either.”