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19 Dec 2017

Court prod for police in Facebook case

TT, Calcutta: Calcutta High Court on Monday asked Jalpaiguri police to seek the help of a central investigating agency in their case against Facebook, which stands accused of refusing to provide information necessary to track whether a husband was responsible for defaming his wife on the social networking site.

In his order, Justice Debangshu Basak also asked the Union government to take necessary steps after receiving the representation from the state authorities.

"If the incident of character assassination is allowed to continue through social media, the situation will reach an alarming stage in the future," Justice Basak observed while delivering the order.

He was hearing a petition moved by a woman alleging that Jalpaiguri police did not take any step against her estranged husband, Arpan De, and one of his friends who had allegedly been sending abusive messages and objectionable pictures in her Facebook account.

Some of the pictures, the woman alleged, only her estranged husband could have had access to. So, although the posts are being made from a fictitious profile, the oman said she had no doubt who was behind it.

Appearing for the petitioner, advocate Ranjan Kali told the court: "Even after repeated representations from my client, the Jalpaiguri police station did not take any step against her husband, Arpan De, and his friend."

The public prosecutor, Bibhash Chatterjee, said: "It is not true that the police did not take any step on the basis of the complaint of the petitioner. The investigators had sought the help of Facebook in providing information for tracking the case. But the authorities concerned refused to provide the information. Unless documentary evidence is in hand, the police cannot arrest the husband and his friend."

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