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Press Trust of India (PTI) sues Indian government over IT Rules

The petition sought to declare a part of the IT Rules as void for allegedly violating several fundamental rights granted by the country's constitution. India's largest news agency Press Trust of India (PTI) earlier this month filed a writ petition against the Indian government over the Information Technology (IT) Rules 2021. The IT Rules, which were notified on 25 February 2021, govern social media intermediaries, online streaming platforms, and digital news publishers. The petition filed in Delhi High Court specifically challenges the provisions affecting publishers of news and current affairs content, arguing that they "usher in an era of surveillance and fear, thereby resulting in self-censorship" and violating the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution of India and that they are not within the framework of the IT Act 2000. A division bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice J R Midha on Wednesday issued a notice to the government and tagged the petition with similar pleas filed by other online news outlets such as The Wire, Alt News, and The Quint. The same is scheduled for hearing on August 20. The court refused to grant interim protection to these outlets. So far, nine petitions have been filed across courts in India challenging the rules applicable to digital news publishers. The government has filed a transfer petition to transfer all these cases to the Supreme Court. Rules are ultra vires the Constitution Violates freedom of speech and expression:  The petition argues that rules violate the freedom of speech and expression because they lead to self-censorship…

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