SC wants rules for so­cial me­dia, gives govt 3 wks to file af­fi­davit

Seeks Def­i­nite Time­line For Fram­ing Pol­icy

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Front Page - AmitA­nand.Choud­hary @times­group.com

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tues­day waded into un­charted ter­ri­tory, ask­ing the Cen­tre to frame guide­lines to reg­u­late so­cial me­dia and put in place a mech­a­nism to track ori­gin of fake news, ru­mours and ob­jec­tion­able ma­te­rial like pornog­ra­phy on so­cial me­dia plat­forms, in­clud­ing Face­book, What­sApp, Twit­ter and YouTube.

Point­ing to so­cial me­dia

‘There have to be strict guide­lines and at the same time pri­vacy of in­di­vid­u­als should also be kept in mind. It can be done only by the gov­ern­ment as it is a pol­icy

be­ing ram­pantly mis­used for fake news and ru­mours lead­ing to mob vi­o­lence and law & or­der prob­lems, a bench of Jus­tices Deepak Gupta and Anirud­dha Bose said new me­dia needs reg­u­la­tion and the Cen­tre must step in to deal with the men­ace. It di­rected the Cen­tre to file an af­fi­davit in three weeks to give a def­i­nite time­line for fram­ing a pol­icy af­ter solic­i­tor gen­eral Tushar Me­hta in­formed the court that the gov­ern­ment is hold­ing con­sul­ta­tions. Me­hta, how­ever, said it was not pos­si­ble to give an ac­cu­rate time­line to com­plete the task.

“There have to be some strict guide­lines and at the same time pri­vacy of in­di­vid­u­als should also be kept in mind. It can be done only by the gov­ern­ment as it is a pol­icy mat­ter and nei­ther the SC nor high courts can do it. It (so­cial me­dia) is very dan­ger­ous the way in which it is be­ing mis­used,” the bench said. The court said the is­sue per­tains to evolv­ing tech­nol­ogy which the ju­di­ciary lacks ex­per­tise to deal with and asked the Cen­tre to frame a pol­icy as early as pos­si­ble.

The court has fixed Thurs­day for a hear­ing on the plea of the law stu­dent who sought pro­tec­tion from ar­rest for al­legedly try­ing to ex­tort money from Chin­mayanand. The law stu­dent’s lawyer, Anoop Trivedi, said, “We had filed an an­tic­i­pa­tory bail ap­pli­ca­tion in the court. Since the SIT is prob­ing sev­eral com­plaints at the same time, we have re­quested the court to sum­mon the record of the case against my client, so that fi­nal ar­gu­men­ta­tion could be done. We are con­sid­er­ing it re­lief against ar­rest as the SIT coun­sel also submitted that they have no in­ten­tion to ar­rest my client.”

Later, an SIT of­fi­cial told TOI, “We were only ask­ing her to come with us for ques­tion­ing and we were only in­tend­ing to take her home to gath­er­ing ev­i­dence re­lated to the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.” Ac­cord­ing to the woman, she was on way to the court along with her younger brother on Tues­day when SIT of­fi­cials led in­ter­cepted her.

Full re­port on www.toi.in

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.