The technological age has produced digital platforms – not like the railway platforms where trains were regulated on arrival and departure. These digital platforms can be imminently uncontrollable at times and carry their own challenges. One form of digital platforms are the intermediaries that claim to be providing a platform for exchange of ideas without any contribution of their own. The power and potentiality of these intermediaries is vast, running across borders. These are multinational corporations with large wealth and influence at their command. By the very reason of the platform they provide, their influence extends over populations across borders. Facebook is one such corporation. It is difficult to accept the simplistic approach adopted by Facebook – that it is merely a platform posting third party information and has no role in generating, controlling or modulating that information. Facebook has the power of not simply a hand but a fist, gloved as it may be.
Legislative Assembly of National Capital Territory of Delhi resolved to constitute ‘Committee on Peace and Harmony’. Members and Non-Members can equally be directed to appear before the Committee and depose on oath. We fail to appreciate the line of argument, no Non-Member could be summoned if they had not intruded on the functioning of the Assembly or non-participation of Ajit Mohan [‘Petitioner’/Vice President and Managing Director of Facebook India] would not have adverse consequences as it did not disrupt functioning of the Committee. ‘Petitioners’ [Ajit Mohan & Ors.], more so with their expanded role as an intermediary, can hardly contend, they have some exceptional privilege to abstain from appearing before a Committee duly constituted by the Assembly.
– Hon’ble Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Ajit Mohan v. Legislative Assembly, NCT, [Writ Petition (Civil) No. 1088 of 2020].