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Rules go beyond scope of parent Act: Pratidhvani challenges IT Rules 2021 before Karnataka HC – Updated

Truth Pro Foundation India, a non-governmental organisation that operates Kannada news portal Pratidhvani, has challenged the government's Information Technology Rules, 2021 which brings digital news and current affairs publishers under regulation. Filed in the Karnataka High Court, the the Foundation's petition argues that the new rules are ultra vires (beyond the scope) to the parent IT Act, 2000, since it sets up classification of new entities, that is, news and current affairs publishers. Shivakumar Siddappa, the director of the Truth Pro Foundation India, filed the petition on the Foundation's behalf in March.  Siddappa pleaded for a stay on the IT Rules 2021, insofar as they define and apply to publishers of news and current affairs content. The petition asks for the provisions to be declared unconstitutional and ultra vires to the Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000. On March 31, the Karnataka High Court adjourned the petition by two weeks, reported LiveLaw. The petition also argues that the Norms of Journalistic Conduct and Programme Code are extremely broad and cover subjective things like ‘good taste’ and ‘decency’. The Rules have stepped outside the remit of Section 69A, which was upheld noting its narrow scope and manner of operation of the IT Blocking Rules 2009.  Emergency blocking power to central government: Siddappa's petition argues that the emergency power given to the I&B Secretary to pass interim orders to block content without giving the publisher an opportunity of hearing is ultra vires to the parent act.  Subordinate legislation cannot go beyond scope of parent law:…

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