With pornographic content mushrooming on the Internet, the Petitions Committee of Rajya Sabha has called for the opinion of stakeholders and from the public for their view on making relevant changes in the Information Technology Act of 2000.

The committee was acting on a petition from Jain Acharya, who had highlighted the rapid spread of porn content on the Web, exposing the children and youth to ‘destructive’ stuff that could spoil their mental health.

It has called for changes in the Act to punish the developers and distributors of such content on the Internet. It also wanted the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to step in to make relevant guidelines.

The committee wanted the porn sites to be blocked and provide filters to people to screen the content for such offending content.

Petitions committee

The Petitions Committee of Rajya Sabha takes complaints from citizens on any issue that has a bearing on the public. These petitions, however, need to be endorsed by a Rajya Sabha member.

It advertises in newspapers across the country, seeking the views. After considering them, it submits a report to Parliament, making suggestions to relevant Ministries to incorporate changes in the Act.

Besides, it invites the petitioners to present their case, with relevant supporting information.

“Due to rapid spread and growth of Internet, millions of teenaged children are getting addicted to cyber pornography. It affects their tender minds and they would start experimenting what they watch on porn Web sites,” Jain Acharya Vijay Ratna SunderSuri Acharya of Jain Tapagachha Community, said in his complaint.

“It is a kind of poison for children and it is inappropriate and dangerous. It should be curbed. The Western countries such as the US and UK have introduced specific laws to curb this menace. We also need to make relevant changes in the IT Act of 2000 to introduce severe punishments on those who develop and spread the porn content on the Internet,” the petition said.

kurmanath.kanchi@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on July 11, 2013)
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