Microsoft dropped from Indian obscenity case

An Indian court on Monday threw out proceedings against Internet giant Microsoft, which had been named in a lawsuit against more than 20 companies alleged to have hosted offensive content.

A Delhi High Court judge dismissed the case against Microsoft after its lawyers had argued there were no relevant allegations to be answered, a Microsoft spokesman told AFP.

Yahoo! had already been dropped from the obscenity case but , and several other smaller remain listed in the lawsuit, which is due to return to court in May.

Indian Telecoms Minister Kapil Sibal has pressurised Internet firms to crack down on offensive material but he has denied accusations of censorship, saying they only had to obey the same rules governing the press.

Sibal held meetings with leading Internet companies late last year in which he asked about the possibility of checking content before it was posted online by users.

The Internet sites have said they cannot be held responsible for their clients' actions.

The complainant behind the lawsuit is a member of the public, and has submitted to the trial court obscene pictures and material that targeted Hindu gods, Prophet Mohammed and Jesus Christ, the Press Trust of India reported.

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(c) 2012 AFP

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