Gavel

The Supreme Court earlier this week sought the central government’s view on setting up a pan-India agency which would look into increased proliferation of rape videos and child pornography shared via WhatsApp and Facebook groups, reports India Today.

A social justice bench took cognizance of the matter after activist Sunitha Krishnan brought the issue forward following two instances in which people were booked for circulating rape videos through WhatsApp in Mumbai and running a sex racket for pedophiles through Facebook account but no action was taken against the social networks.

Krishnan had pleaded the court that action should be taken against Facebook and WhatsApp and that they should be blocked. The court turned down the plea to block the social networks, but however, it asked the additional solicitor general to see why WhatsApp and Facebook were not booked by the Kerala and Maharashtra police. The court also ordered a CBI probe into the videos being circulated.

The court sought the views of the home ministry for setting up a pan-India agency to look into sexual crimes. The home ministry replied that it has initiated steps to set up 150 specialised units to investigate crimes against women. It added that a Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre was in the works to help curb crimes against women.

Calls to regulate social media

In August, the Supreme Court suggested that there should be a new law to regulate social media to counter malicious and defamatory messages circulated online. The justices made the remarks while hearing a number of cases challenging the criminality of defamation laws.

Image source: Flickr user Brian Turner