On Friday, six days after 18 persons, including Google CEO Sunder Pichai and three other company executives, were booked over a video song allegedly defaming Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Uttar Pradesh police dropped their names from the FIR. The FIR was lodged in Bhelupur police station of Varanasi, which is the constituency of PM Modi.

What is the issue?

The action was taken on the application of Gauriganj resident Girija Shankar Jaiswal by order of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate-3 of Varanasi. According to the police, Girija Shankar Jaiswal's WhatsApp group showed a video called 'country seller'. In the video, other types of talk including selling the country were talked about Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In relation to the video, he spoke to singer Vishal Ghazipur aka Vishal Singh Badal about why he has done so.

Sundar Pichai posing next to Google's quantum computer
Sundar Pichai posing next to Google's quantum computerGoogle Blog

In his FIR, he said that after he objected to the video shown in a WhatsApp community and YouTube, he got over 8,500 threat calls on his mobile phone. As he received threats after the singer, Vishal Ghazipuri, placed his mobile number in the comment section of his video, he included the names of Pichai and others from his team in the FIR when Girija objected to the song.

No evidence against Pichai: UP Police

On Friday, Varanasi SSP Amit Pathak said that the names of Pichai and three other Google officials had been excluded from the FIR because no evidence against them had been found during the investigation. He claimed that further investigations will proceed against those identified in the FIR.

UP Police
UP PoliceCredit:Twitter

As per a report in the Time of India, Ghazipur district-based musicians, Vishal Ghazipuri, Sapna Bodh, and their team, a recording studio, and a local music label company were among the others named in the FIR. Parts 504 (an intentional insult in order to cause violation of the peace), 506 (criminal intimidation), 500 (defamation), 120B (party to a criminal conspiracy) of the IPC, and 67 of the IT Act were submitted to the FIR.