Microsoft India dropped out of suit against social websites

A court here on Thursday removed Microsoft India from the array of 21 websites made party in a civil suit and rejected the plaint alleging that the website was hosting objectionable content, after the plaintiff Mufti Aijaz Arshad Qasmi failed to produce any downloaded document from Microsoft that he found objectionable.

The court also imposed a cost of Rs.5,000 on Mr. Qasmi for dragging Microsoft into the suit and burdening the company with legal expenses.

“Not a networking site”

Holding that Microsoft India “is an odd man out” among the parties arrayed in the suit as it was not a social networking website, Administrative Civil Judge Parveen Singh said: “…neither in the form of any specific cause of action against the defendant, nor by way of documents annexed with the plaint, has the plaintiff brought before the court any specific cause of action against the defendant.”

Mr. Singh also faulted the plaintiff for not verifying whether Microsoft India was “engaged in the activity of providing a social networking site or a platform to the general public, where certain views can be posted, and which could be obnoxious.”

On imposing costs, he said: “As the plaintiff has not acted responsibly in making the defendant a party and put the defendant to expenses by virtue of his act of impleading the defendant without disclosing any cause of action…the plaintiff needs to compensate the defendant for the cost incurred.”

After counsel for Microsoft put forward its submissions, counsel for Yahoo India pointed to the judge that even “the basic allegations necessary to sustain the plaint were missing.” Alleging an agenda on the part of the plaintiff, counsel alleged that Mr. Qasmi had “randomly picked up some websites without applying his mind.”

Mr. Singh will pass his order on Yahoo India's submission for deletion from the array of parties on March 5.

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