In yet another challenge to the Indian government's IT Rules 2021, one advocate Sanjay Kumar Singh has petitioned the Delhi High Court, arguing that the Rules are unconstitutional and should be struck down. He said that multiple provisions of the Rules do not meet the constitutional requirements of placing restrictions on free speech and expression, deserve to be struck down. The court on Wednesday issued notice to the respondents: Union of India, MEITY, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, and Ministry of Law & Justice. The Information Technology Rules 2021, notified last month, envisages tighter control on and higher due diligence by intermediaries over "unlawful content", casting a wide net of what will be prohibited online. Under Section 3(1), intermediaries are required to remove content that is defamatory, invades another's privacy, national security and public order, contempt of court, among multiple other grounds. Singh prayed the the Rules be struck down, arguing that a substantial number of these grounds are too vague and broad: Content that is defamatory, invasive of another’s privacy, or libelous [Rule 3(1)(b)(ii)] Grounds of unity, integrity, defence, security or sovereignty of India, friendly relations with foreign states, public order, preventing investigation, insulting other nations [Rule 3(1)(b)(viii)] Grounds of sovereignty and integrity, security of state, friendly relations with foreign states, public order, decency or morality, in relation to contempt of court, defamation [Rule 3(1)(b)(viii)] Grounds of partial nudity [Rule 3(2)(b)] Under the rules, the intermediary is required to remove content within 36 hours when it receives actual knowledge,…
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