Saturday, Aug 13, 2022

UP Police Book Google's Sundar Pichai, Others; Drop Names From FIR Later

Sundar Pichai and three other top officials at Google were booked after an FIR was lodged by a local resident over defamatory video against PM Modi

Google's chief executive Sundar Pichai addresses the audience during an event on artificial intelligence at the Square in Brussels. AP/PTI

An FIR was lodged against Google CEO Sundar Pichai and 17 others last week over a video that allegedly defamed Prime Minister Narendra Modi but the Varanasi police later removed the tech giant officials' names from the FIR as they were found 'not involved' in the case, officials said on Friday.

Sundar Pichai and three other top officials at Google were booked after an FIR was lodged by a local resident who claimed that he got over 8,500 threat calls on his mobile phone after he objected to the video that he first came across in a WhatsApp group and later on YouTube, where it has over five lakh views, the officials said.

Besides the US-based Pichai, others named in the FIR are three Google India officials including Sanjay Kumar Gupta, according to the FIR lodged at Bhelupur police station on February 6.

The names of Pichai and three other Google top officials were removed after they were found “not involved” in the case, a police official privy to the probe told PTI over the phone.

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 song, a recording studio and a local music label company.

The FIR has been lodged under 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, which has been accessed by PTI.

“The names of Google officials were removed from the FIR the same day as it turned out that they were not involved in the case. Investigation on other points is underway,” an official from the local Bhelupur police station told PTI.

With PTI Inputs