Mumbai Police sends notice to YouTube, others for spreading ‘fake and false information’

The cyber cell unit of the Mumbai Police has sent notices to video sharing platformand certain electronic media outlets for allegedly ‘hapemering the image of Maharashtra government and the city police‘ by spreading objectionable videos and information related to the death of Bollywood actor Susant Singh Rajput.

One of the notices, accessed by ET issued to a respondent under certain sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) dealing with defamation and intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace reads, “The cyber police station is investigating an offence registered under sections 505 (2), 500, 501 and 504 IPC regarding spreading objectionable videos/ information related to the suicide of film actor Sushant Singh Rajput”. It further adds, “..During the course of investigation, it is revealed that you have posted defamatory videos in a disrespectful manner. Thereby creating misunderstanding between people and spreading rumors which in turn hampering the image of Maharashtra government and Mumbai Police. Therefore, it is necessary to interrogate you about the said case to ascertain your role in this offence and any clarifications from your side”.

The respondents have been asked to join the probe and appear before the investigating office within eight days of receipt of the notice.

Confirming the development, Mumbai police commissioner, Param Bir Singh told ET that the respondents have been asked to join the probe in the case pertaining to “spreading of fake news and false information”.

YouTube was not immediately available for a comment.

The Mumbai police which initially registered an accidental death report (ADR) in connection with the death of Rajput who was found hanging from the ceiling of his bedroom on June 14 came under severe criticism for alleged ‘poor handling of the case’. Claiming that the family didn’t trust the Mumbai Police’s probe, Rajput’s father, KK Singh lodged a case of abetment to suicide and criminal conspiracy againt Rajput’s girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty, her family members and her friends with the Bihar police. The case was subsequently transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation () by the Supreme Court.

At least three central enforcement agencies including the CBI,Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) are investigating the death of the Bollywood actor. While CBI is probing a case of alleged abetment to suicide and criminal conspiracy, ED is probing the allegations ofand NCB is looking into the alleged drug connection to the actor’s death.

In a related development, the NCB summoned Rhea to join its probe on Sunday. The VJ-turned actress reached the Mumbai-office of the federal anti-drug trafficking agency on Sunday noon and is being questioned.

Her brother, Showik, is already in the custody of NCB and sources say the two will be confronted during the course of the probe.