Police in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, charged Google CEO Sundar Pichai and 17 others last week over a video that allegedly defamed Prime Minister Narendra Modi. However, they later removed his name and that of three other Google officials from the FIR, officials said on Friday (February 12).
The names were removed after it was found that they were not involved in the case, an official told PTI.
The FIR was filed following a complaint by a local resident who claimed that he received more than 8,500 threat calls after he objected to the video, which he first came across in a WhatsApp group and later on YouTube, where it has over five lakh views, the officials said.
Besides Pichai, others named in the FIR were three Google India officials, including Sanjay Kumar Gupta, according to the case filed at UP’s Bhelupur police station on February 6.
Google’s response over the case is awaited.
Among the rest named in the FIR are Ghazipur district-based musicians who allegedly made the video , a recording studio and a local music label company.
The FIR has been lodged under the Indian Penal Code Sections 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 506 (criminal intimidation), 500 (defamation), 120B (party to a criminal conspiracy).
Charges under the Information Technology Act’s Section 67 (publishing or transmitting obscene material) have also been invoked against the accused, according to the FIR.
The names of the Google officials were removed from the FIR the same day as it turned out that they were not involved in the case. The investigation on other points is underway, an official from station told PTI.