New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued notices to Centre, Twitter, Google and YouTube over a plea filed by Facebook that the apex court should transfer to itself, pleas pending in High Courts across the country seeking interlinking of Aadhaar database with social media profiles for authentication of identity.
Facebook had moved the Supreme Court last week requesting it to transfer to itself, four pleas-two in Madras High Court and one each in Bombay and Madhya Pradesh High Court-to avoid the possibility of four conflicting decisions from four common cases.
Earlier on Monday, a 2-judge bench headed by Justice Deepak Gupta had deferred the matter to Tuesday as it wanted to go through additional materials placed before it.
The suggestion to link Aadhaar database with social media profiles was made by the Tamil Nadu government, which defended the same in the Supreme Court on Monday, saying that this needed to be done to put a check on terrorist messages, pornography and fake news.
The state, represented by Attorney General KK Venugopal, backed up its claim by saying that it is working with IIT-Madras professors to find a solution to trace the origin of WhatsApp messages. It also opposed the transfer on the grounds that 18 hearings had already taken place in the Madras High Court in this regard.
Meanwhile, Facebook, represented by senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi argued that the state government cannot tell them how to run their platforms. They further argued that they have end-to-end encryption on WhatsApp and even they don’t have access to the content.
The matter will next be heard on September 13.