Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who is locked in a legal battle with Twitter over a failed takeover bid that Twitter now intends to force through, said the social media giant was putting its third-largest market at risk by failing to disclose “risky” lawsuits against the Government of India.
In a countersuit in a Delaware court filed under seal last Friday and made public Thursday, Musk also claimed he was “tricked” into signing the deal to buy the San Francisco-based social media company.
Musk said Twitter should follow the local law in India, according to the court documents. Snapshots of the court documents were seen circulating on Twitter posted by New York Times Tech Reporter Kate Conger.
“In 2021, India’s Ministry of Information Technology introduced certain rules that allow the government to investigate posts on social media, demand identifying information and prosecute companies that refused to comply. While Musk is a supporter of free speech, he believes that moderation on Twitter should “hew close to the laws of countries where Twitter operates,” read part of the legal filings in the Twitter vs. Musk lawsuit, as posted by New York Times technology reporter Kate Conger in a series of tweets.
To Elon Musk’s allegations in the court documents, Twitter responded that it “respectfully refers the court to their full and accurate content. Twitter lacks knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief in the truth of the allegations,” and said it “therefore denies them on that foundation.”
Referring to a petition filed in the Karnataka High Court in July, Musk also objected to Twitter’s failure to disclose legal proceedings against the Indian government.
“Twitter claims that it has challenged certain blocking orders issued by the Indian government under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, asking Twitter to remove certain content from its platform, including content from politicians, activists and journalists, and that Twitter is lawful.” says the company in its response.
Twitter said through its lawyer at the Karnataka High Court that its operations in India would shut down if it complied with the Indian government’s order to block content that competent authorities had deemed illegal. The Supreme Court had sent notices to the center and postponed the hearing to 25 August.
The microblogging site and the world’s richest man are now headed to trial on October 17 after Musk tried to abandon his deal to buy Twitter over what he says is a misrepresentation of fake accounts on the site.
Twitter is trying to force Musk to follow through on the deal while accusing him of sabotaging it because it no longer served his interests.
Earlier in April, Musk entered into an acquisition agreement with Twitter at USD 54.20 per share in a transaction valued at approximately USD 44 billion.
In May, Musk put the deal on hold to allow his team to assess the veracity of Twitter’s claim that less than 5 percent of accounts on the platform are bots or spam.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)