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(Updated:) Post Ban, Aniruddha Malpani files writ petition against LinkedIn

Today the name Aniruddha Malpani has become synonymous with Byju’s. Malpani, one of the celebrated angel investors in India’s startup ecosystem, has been at the forefront of running a crusade against Byju’s. Malpani used his LinkedIn account as a strategic weapon to mount a case against the edtech major, accusing it of malpractices that allegedly led to compromising of students’ academic future.

However, Malpani has been unable to use his personal Linkedin account to mount the case against Byju’s since July after Linkedin permanently banned his account. As of today there has been no change in the status quo as Malpani’s Linkedin account continues to remain banned.

Now a legal chapter has been unfolded in this saga as Malpani has filed a writ petition against LinkedIn in Mumbai High Court. Malpani has confirmed the news to Techpluto. The first hearing on this case is scheduled for October 8 (i.e. tomorrow). Byju’s has so far not been made a party to this case, Malpani told Techpluto.

Techpluto got access to the writ petition filed against LinkedIn. In the petition, Malpani has termed LinkedIn’s decision as arbitrary and discriminatory. The social networking giant’s action is tantamount to violation of the Information Technology Act and Rules, Malpani has said in his petition.

“The conduct of LinkedIn vis-à-vis the Petitioner is an example of how the platform of LinkedIn , an entity amenable to laws and regulations of India – that has been specifically directed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court to not act as a ‘super censor’ – has taken it upon itself to arbitrarily and capriciously curtail the Petitioners constitutional and statutory right.”

The above quote is a small snippet of the petition.

When Techpluto contacted Linkedin to know their official reaction on Malpani’s legal step, LinkedIn gave us the following reply:

We are aware that Dr. Aniruddha Malpani has filed a writ petition related to the restriction of his LinkedIn account. The matter is currently sub judice. LinkedIn is committed to keeping our platform safe, trusted and professional. We have clear terms of service and professional community policies that we expect all of our members to adhere to. We cannot comment further on member accounts due to our privacy policy.”

Malpani’s allegations against Byju’s

After Malpani’s LinkedIn account was banned earlier this year allegedly at the behest of Byju’s, Techpluto had contacted Malapani. The Mumbai based angel investor claimed that “Byju’s was mis-selling its app to lower middle-class parents by using pressure tactics, and blaming and shaming parents into buying, I spoke up vocally against these malpractices.”

He further added that the edutech major was prioritizing profit over students’ future and their products proving to be counterproductive for India’s education sector since it encouraged students to cram for exams.

He also accused Byju’s of encouraging toxic work culture by arbitrarily firing young sales executives for not meeting their sales targets.

Byju’s, on other hand, has always maintained that it has nothing do with Malpani and LinkedIn fiasco.

 

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