New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Friday quashed criminal proceedings against Yahoo India, which was summoned along with 20 other websites to face trial for allegedly hosting objectionable content on their web pages.

"The summons issued against Yahoo India is set aside," Justice Suresh Kait said while allowing the plea of the website that the lower court wrongly issued the process against it, without attributing any specific role to it.

The court, however, said that a private complaint, filed by a scribe Vinay Rai against the website, can be revived if credible and actionable pieces of evidence are filed against it.

Senior advocate Arvind Nigam, appearing for Yahoo India, said that there were no documents to support Rai's allegation against the website for violation of any provision of law.

Nigam said that the magistrate should not be casual in issuing the summons and should consider the material on record.

"It is a case where summons were issued without application of mind by the trial court as there was no material against me (Yahoo India)," he said.

"I wish to know what is the case against me," he added.

Yahoo India Pvt Ltd, on January 20, had approached the high court challenging the summons issued to it by the trial court for allegedly hosting objectionable content.

 Yahoo India had said that the complaint and the order of the magistrate dealt with alleged objectionable material retrieved from various websites including Zombie, Orkut, Youtube, Facebook, Blogspot and none of them pertained to Yahoo.

Referring to Rai's complaint, it had said no material in the complaint was downloaded from Yahoo India which forms part of the case in which other websites have also been summoned.
"I am not a social networking site like other accused in the case. I only provide email and chat services. Moreover, no objectionable material has been attributed to me and hence my case is different from others," Nigam had said.

The magisterial court had on December 23 issued summons to the websites for allegedly committing offences of criminal conspiracy, sale of obscene books and objects to young people.

The Centre had earlier filed a report before the lower court saying, there was sufficient material to proceed against the 21 websites for alleged offences of promoting enmity between classes of society and causing prejudice to national integrity.

Of these websites, Google India and Facebook India have also moved the high court against the magistrate's order, saying the summons be quashed as they did not commit any offence.

(Agencies)