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Facebook row: Nishikant Dubey gives breach of privilege notice against Shashi Tharoor, Rahul Gandhi

Facebook row: Nishikant Dubey gives breach of privilege notice against Shashi Tharoor, Rahul Gandhi

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New Delhi [India], Aug 19 (ANI): Bhartiya Janata Party MP and a member of Parliamentary Standing Committee for Information Technology (IT) Nishikant Dubey has given a breach of privilege notice against the chairperson of the panel Shashi Tharoor and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi over Facebook row.
In a letter to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, Dubey alleged that Tharoor has surpassed "all limits of decency, ethics and basic tenets of parliamentary procedure and practice" and committed "a grave breach of privilege" as an MP and as chairperson of the standing committee on IT.
Dubey said "there was some personal issues with an individual person with the Facebook and Whatsapp".
"The said incident was also reported in the media. It is needless to say that such incidents occur in our democratic society, which are, in fact, a sign of healthy and vibrant democracy," he said, adding that any individual, in a private capacity, has the right and freedom to express his views freely and without any fear.
"It is learnt from the media reports that on this insignificant incident, the Wall Street Journal made a report that `Facebook top public policy executive in India, citing business reasons, didn't apply hate speeches to at least four individuals and groups linked with the BJP who were flagged internally for promoting or participating in violence,'" he said.
"Soon thereafter, some renowned political leaders started searching for a political angle for gaining parochial political mileage by defaming the BJP. In this bandwagon, Tharoor suddenly made an entry and issued a public statement that `I will certainly look into the issue and the committee will seek the views of Facebook,'" he added.
Dubey said it has also been widely reported in the media that Tharoor has instructed the secretariat of the panel to immediately summon Facebook.
He said Rahul Gandhi also tweeted over the incident.
"BJP and RSS control of Facebook and WhatsApp in India. They spread fake news and hatred thorough it and use it to influence the electorate," Dubey cited Gandhi's tweet in his letter.
He said Tharoor has no powers to summon any entity/organisation without consulting the members of the committee. "The agenda of any sitting of the parliamentary committee is decided after due deliberations and consultation with all the members," he said.
Dubey said Tharoor has "not only by-passed the other committee members for deciding the aspect of summoning witnesses but also violated the rules of procedure, directions, manual which prohibit summoning the private entities before any parliamentary committee".
"It is, therefore, a clear case, of breach of privilege," he said.
Dubey alleged that Tharoor has committed a serious breach of privilege of using the parliamentary committee platform "not only to serve his political agenda but also to tarnish BJP and sensationalize a small incident by misusing his official powers".
Referring to Rahul Gandhi, he said the Congress leader had levelled "unsubstantiated allegations through a tweet against all the Members of Parliament, Lok Sabha, who belong to BJP".
The MP said that before spreading "such types of canards through media/social media", Rahul Gandhi had no legally tenable documents or papers.
"Spreading of rumors against members of parliament who are affiliated to a specific political party is, thus, a breach of privilege," he said. (ANI)

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


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