The new IT Rules require news organisations to appoint a grievance officer who reviews and disposes of complaints from readers or viewers of online news. The Leaflet, a digital news portal, has filed a petition in the Bombay High Court against the IT Rules 2021 alleging that it is in violation of Article 14 (right to equality), Article 19(a) (freedom of speech and expression), and 19(1)(g) (freedom to practice any profession or to carry on any occupation, trade or business), the platform announced. In a report on their website, The Leaflet said that their petition stated that the new IT Rules 2021 are beyond the rulemaking power of the Union government as the parent Act (Information Technology Act, 2000) does not have any provision that enables the regulation of online publishers. The portal also alleged that the rules impose "unreasonable, excessive, and tenuous burdens on digital news publishers, which are designed to restrict and narrow the scope of reporting undertaken by such publishers and place unfeasible economic hardship on them, thereby imposing a disproportionate burden that directly violates the rights of the press that are protected under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India." IT Rules undermines freedom of press: The Leaflet The Leaflet said that the powers of the government to direct modifications and deletions of specific parts of the content or articles published by news and current affairs publishers, as per the IT Rules, was a direct contravention of the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of the press. They argued…
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