Gujarat High Court issues notice to Google for blocking man's email account over nude childhood photo

03:04 PM Mar 18, 2024 | PTI |

Ahmedabad: Uploading a nude childhood photo on Google Drive cost a man access to his email account for nearly a year and forced him to knock on the doors of the Gujarat High Court.


The High Court has issued a notice to Google India Pvt Limited for blocking the email account of the petitioner for ‘explicit child abuse’ after he uploaded on Google Drive a photo of his grandmother bathing him when he was two years old.

The court of Justice Vaibhavi D Nanavati on March 15 issued notices to Google, the Central and state governments returnable on March 26.

The petitioner, Neel Shukla, a computer engineer, uploaded childhood photographs on Google Drive, including a picture of him being bathed by his grandmother as a toddler.

The tech giant blocked Shukla’s account in April last year for violating its policy regarding such contents showing ‘explicit child abuse’, his counsel Dipen Desai told the court.


Shukla moved the High Court on March 12 after the company failed to resolve the issue through its grievance redressal mechanism, he said.

Desai informed the court that since Google blocked the email account, Shukla has been unable to access his emails, and this has caused losses to his business.

The petitioner, in his plea, said, “Google says this amounts to ‘explicit child abuse,’ and they have blocked everything. I have not been able to access my email and my business (is affected) as everything is blocked.”

Shukla had approached the Gujarat Police and the Centre’s Department of Science and Technology, the nodal agency for such matters in India, but they also failed to act, and he was forced to seek judicial remedy.

The petitioner also requested an urgent hearing, as he received a notice from Google stating that the data linked to his account would be deleted in April, a year after it was rendered inoperative.


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