SC wants rules for social media, gives govt 3 wks to file affidavit
Seeks Definite Timeline For Framing Policy
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