An advocate from Delhi on Tuesday sent a legal notice to internet messaging application WhatsApp asking it to remove the “middle finger” emoji from its service within 15 days.
Gurmeet Singh’s legal notice said that such an emoji was illegal, and also “highly belligerent, invasive, obscene and lewd”, IANS reported. He said that such a gesture, if aimed at a woman, was an offence under the Sections 354 and 509 of the Indian Penal Code.
In his notice, Singh also cited an Irish law that makes the middle finger gesture an offence.
“By offering to use middle finger emoji in your app, you [WhatsApp Inc] are directly abetting the use of [an] offensive, lewd, obscene gesture,” the notice said.
Singh said that if the company did not remove the emoji, he would file a civil or criminal case against it.