The Delhi High Court has refused to entertain a Public Interest Litigation for quashing the Indian Government’s notifications of blocking web pages, including those of Facebook, Google and Twitter, for hosting inflammatory contents, triggering panic among north east states, reports The Economic Times.
A group of petitioners had approached the Court asking it to anull the the government’s notifications to block 245 web pages with inflammatory and hateful content, following the exodus of a large number of people belonging to the North Eastern ethnic community from cities like Bangalore and Pune, among others.
The plea stated that the notifications (under the Information and Technology Act and its rules) were patently unconstitutional and violated the fundamental rights of the freedom of speech and expression by blocking access to the websites without giving a hearing to the content owners and other affected people. However, the judges on the bench said that they could not treat the plea as a public interest litigation and that the affected parties should approach the court.
The Ministry of Home affairs had banned bulk SMS and MMS for a period of 15 days, which it withdrew on August 30, 2012. The directive came after reports of rumors being spread following violence in Assam, leading to mass exodus of people from the North-East region, from Bangalore, Pune and other cities. The government then banned 245 web pages from social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and account of journalists on Twitter.
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