The Delhi High Court on Thursday waived off a cost of ₹25,000 imposed on former interim CBI director M. Nageswara Rao at the time of dismissal of his plea challenging Twitter’s decision to remove verification “blue tick” from his account.
The High Court’s decision came after the retired IPS officer tendered an unconditional apology to the court. Mr. Rao also stated that he was a pensioner who “was just asking for his identity to be secured”.
Justice Yashwant Varma said, “Bearing in mind the unconditional apology which is tendered on behalf of the petitioner [Mr. Rao], the cost in terms of the order of May 17, 2022 shall stand deleted”.
The High Court, in May, had rejected Mr. Rao’s plea against the removal of the verification tag from his Twitter account noting that “there was absolutely no justification which warranted the writ petition to be filed bearing in mind that the earlier writ petition was disposed of on April 7”.
On April 7, the High Court had told Mr. Rao to pursue appropriate remedies as may be available in law in case he faces any adverse decision made by Twitter.
After the order, Mr. Rao admittedly approached Twitter. The next month, he approached the HC again contending that Twitter was yet to respond on his application.
The High Court, had then on May 17, said that “there was absolutely no justification which warranted the present writ petition being filed, especially when the earlier writ petition had been disposed of only on 7 April 2022”.
“The respondents [Twitter] must be accorded a reasonable period of time to evaluate the representation made. The court finds that neither can the respondent be held to have caused inordinate delay in deciding the representation nor can it be said that serious prejudice or irreparable harm has been caused to the writ petitioner and which may have warranted the filing of the present writ petition,” it had said.
Terming the petition has “thoroughly misconceived”, the High Court had dismissed it with ₹25,000 costs.