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 High Court

Centre says new IT regulations deal with illegal content, don’t stifle free speech.

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New Rules For Social Media

The Centre defined the lengthen claiming it had to body a “consistent defence” on the count given the various instances filed in extraordinary excessive courts throughout the united states difficult the IT rules.

The Union ministry of statistics and broadcasting (MIB) and the ministry of electronics and data technological know-how (MeitY) have filed two counter-affidavits earlier than the Madras excessive court docket defending the constitutional validity of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 or IT Rules.

This is in response to two special petitions difficult the IT policies filed in HC by means of Carnatic vocalist and Ramon Magsaysay awardee T M Krishna, and Digital News Publishers Association (DNPA), made up of thirteen media stores alongside with journalist Mukund Padmanabhan.

The Madras excessive courtroom had disapproved of the lengthen in submitting the counter affidavits by way of the Centre and given it an extension. On August 25, the MeitY filed the counter declaring it was once delayed due to the fact the Centre had to frame a “consistent defence” on the rely given the various instances difficult IT policies filed in distinct excessive courts throughout the country. In some cases, Part II, referring to to “intermediary due diligence”, had been challenged whilst in others, Part III, concerning to “Digital Media and Code of Ethics” had been questioned.


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Presently there are a complete of 19 writ petitions pending throughout excessive courts and every emanate out of a special set of circumstances, the MEITY submitted. But all instances frequently are looking for to declare the IT Rules 2021 extremely vires the Constitution and the IT Act, 2000, the ministry noted. “Therefore, there used to be an overbearing want for the Union to current a consistent, uniform stand earlier than all excessive courts,” MeitY stated.

Social ranking is To dangerous 

MeitY defended the new guidelines whilst the MIB filed a separate 115-page counter-affidavit on August 26, looking for to disregard the petitions.

The petition by using the data science ministry stated the new policies have no chilling impact on speech and expression as it does no longer impose any penalties on customers who submit content material in contravention of the IT Rules.


Bombay HC stays provisions of new IT regulations for digital media, says they violate freedom of speech
The courtroom stated adherence to clauses 9 (1) and 9 (3) of new IT regulations used to be in breach of free speech beneath Article 19 of the Constitution and went past the scope of IT act itself.

14 August, 2021

File photograph of Bombay High Court | Photo: ANI

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Saturday granted an meantime remain to the operation of clauses 9 (1) and 9 (3) of the new Information Technology Rules, 2021 for digital media pertaining to adherence to a Code of Ethics.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G S Kulkarni stated such obligatory adherence to code of ethics used to be in breach of the petitioners’ proper to free speech assured underneath Article 19 of the Constitution. It additionally stated that clause 9 went past the scope of the Information Technology Act itself.

High Court New Rules

The HC additionally refused the Union government’s request to continue to be the order to allow it file an appeal. The court, however, refused to continue to be clauses 14 and sixteen of the IT Rules that deal with the charter of an inter-ministerial committee and blockading of content material in positive situations.

Social Media
Legal information portal The Leaflet and journalist Nikhil Wagle had filed petitions difficult the new rules, pronouncing they had been in all likelihood to have a “chilling effect” on citizens’ proper to free speech assured by means of the Constitution. On Friday, the bench had requested the Union authorities what used to be the want to introduce the lately notified Information Technology Rules, 2021 besides superseding the present IT guidelines that got here into impact in 2009.

Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, who regarded for the Union government, had argued that the want to carry in new rules used to be felt for checking the unfold of faux news.

Also read: What was once the necessity to convey in new IT Rules? Bombay HC asks Centre


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The solely ramification is the elimination of such content material or the termination of user’s get admission to by using the intermediary, which might also be challenged via the consumer below the complaint redressal mechanism particularly set out in the IT Rules or by way of way of judicial review, the affidavit read. “In the absence of extra civil or crook liability, mere elimination of content material or blockading of get right of entry to of customers vis a vis statistics which is in any case illegal will now not tantamount to developing a chilling impact on speech and expression,” it said.

High court 
Speaking of safeguards in opposition to abuse, the affidavit delivered that content material can be eliminated solely if it is illegal and following a courtroom order and after being notified by way of the accepted agency. “No different government different than the suitable authorities or its employer is empowered to trouble an order for elimination of content,” it assured.

Social Media

It stated that the IT Rules 2021 had been supposed to empower regular digital customers of any middleman platform to are seeking for accountability given misuse of social media and unfold of pretend news. It spoke of the necessity to get rid of toddler pornography and rape on digital platforms.

Social media
The counter noted that a framework was once essential to deal with viral messages that had led to riots, mob lynching and sexual abuse of children. The new rules, it said, focussed on the on-line security of female and children, to record instances such as revenge porn and violation of privacy. It in addition brought that the guidelines had been fashioned after public consultation.

Expanding on this, the ministry of records and broadcasting submitted that it’s properly inside the scope of the Information Technology Act (IT Act), 2000 and the Constitution.

Social Media
The Madras HC’s first bench of chief justice Sanjib Banerjee and justice P D Audikesavalu posted the subsequent listening to in the case for September 14.

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