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Supreme Court to MeitY: What’s the status of intermediary guidelines? Tell us by Oct 15

Supreme Court of India
Credit: Aditi Agrawal

Note: MediaNama is hosting a #NAMA Bootcamp on Encryption in Delhi on October 4, 2019. You can apply to attend this invite-only session here. “In my view, the government is best suited [to decide on Intermediary Rules], not this court or any high court,” Justice Deepak Gupta told a packed Court No. 13 in the Supreme Court this afternoon, as he and Justice Aniruddha Bose heard the Facebook transfer petition. In a hearing that lasted about 30 minutes, the Court instructed Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who appeared on behalf of Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and the central government, to submit an affidavit from the Secretary of MeitY within 3 weeks with a concrete timeline on the status of the intermediary guidelines. ‘What is the status of Intermediary Guidelines?’ asks Court Justice Gupta asked Mehta if the central government was indeed ready to come out with Intermediary Guidelines, as the central government and MeitY lawyer Venkataswamy Babu had said in the Madras High Court on September 20. Kapil Sibal (WhatsApp) and Mukul Rohatgi (Facebook) let out loud yeses, while K.K. Venugopal (State of Tamil Nadu) said that the transfer petition is about Aadhaar. On being asked by Justice Gupta about the timeline of notification of Draft Information Technology [Intermediaries Guidelines (Amendment)] Rules, 2018, Mehta informed the court that he had taken instructions on them yesterday. “It will not be very accurate to give a timeline,” he clarified. Justice Gupta told Mehta that the Intermediary Guidelines have to be released at…

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