The Facebook chief of India, Ajit Mohan was called as a witness by the Delhi government's Peace & Harmony Committee to discover concerns relating to the use of the Facebook platform for spreading hateful content during the Delhi riots which occurred this year in February 2020.
He was issued summons, but he preferred to remain silent. A Senior Advocate on his behalf said that the freedom of speech and expression guaranteed by the Constitution under Article 19(1) also include the right to remain silent and therefore he cannot be forced to testify before the Committee.
But the Delhi Legislative Assembly told the Supreme Court that he cannot choose to remain silent and this would result in the breach of privilege as no forceful action was taken against him nor any criminal charge was imposed on him. He was just asked to witness the proceedings.
The Assembly also stated that Mohan cannot use the right to remain silent by himself deciding which body he wants to give evidence to and which body he does not want to.
Mohan made a petition on this matter to Supreme Court on September 23 and the court asked the committee to put a hold on further meetings till final orders are issued.