SC to hear govt’s transfer plea on July 16

Legal Correspondent New Delhi | Updated on July 09, 2021

It primarily concerns the regulation of content onOTT platforms

The Supreme Court on Friday listed on July 16 the government’s plea to transfer cases challenging the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 from various High Courts to the Supreme Court.

A Bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and Sanjiv Khanna tagged the government’s transfer plea to a pending special leave petition titled ‘Justice for Rights Foundation Vs Union of India’. Justice Khanwilkar said the case would be listed before an appropriate Bench on July 16.

The government’s transfer petition is likely to come up before a Bench led by Justice DY Chandrachud on that date.

The ‘Justice for Rights Foundation’ case pending before Justice Chandrachud-led Bench primarily concerns the regulation of content shown on over-the-top (OTT) platforms in the backdrop of the new IT Rules.

Proceedings stayed

On March 23, the Bench had stayed all proceedings in high courts regarding the issue.

The government has said in the apex court that the IT Rules provide a “comprehensive” mechanism to check content on OTT platforms.

The Ministry said in a recent affidavit that the Rules were based on a globally recognised model. The current transfer petition filed by the government deals primarily with cases in high courts challenging the regulatory framework for social media intermediaries in the IT Rules of 2021.

One of the cases is being heard in the Delhi High Court and concerns Twitter.

Also read: Industry players roll out wishlist for new IT and telecom minister

Recently, the government had informed the Delhi High Court that micro-blogging site Twitter failed to comply with India’s law regulating tech companies rendering their services as ‘intermediaries’.

Ministry’s Affidavit

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (Meity), in an affidavit filed before the high court, had stated that despite three months time being granted to all Significant Social Media Intermediaries (SSMIs) to comply with the Information Technology (IT) Rules 2021, Twitter has failed to fully comply with the same.

The IT Rules 2021 mentions a September 2019 order of the Supreme Court as one of the reasons to justify its existence.

In this order, the apex court had expressed deep concern at the utilisation of social media for committing crime and felt that some messages even threaten national sovereignty.

It was in this context the court had called for a “properly framed regime” to allow the government to get information about first originators of messages from “significant” social media intermediaries with end-to-end encryption technology like WhatsApp.

Published on July 09, 2021

Follow us on Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Linkedin. You can also download our Android App or IOS App.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

You May Also Like