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CPI MP files statutory motion to strike down IT Rules in Rajya Sabha

The IT Rules apply to social media intermediaries, digital news publishers, and streaming services; its provisions are under litigation across several high courts in India.  Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament from the Communist Party of India Binoy Viswam on Thursday filed a motion to annul the Information Technology (Intermediary Liability and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021. Desh Deepak Verma, the Secretary-General of the Lok Sabha, said in a Rajya Sabha bulletin that the motion had been admitted, which means it may come up for discussion. Viswam's motion stated: “This House resolves that the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, issued under clause (z), (zg) of sub-section (2) of Section 87 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 published in the Gazette of India dated the 25th February, 2021 vide Notification No. G.S.R. 139(E) dated the 25th February 2021 and laid on the Table of the House on 25th March 2021, be annulled; and This House recommends to Lok Sabha that Lok Sabha do concur in this Motion.” (links supplied) Why it matters: As the IT Rules face legal challenges and pushback from news organisations and social media companies, scrutiny is building on how it has, under subordinate legislation powers, fundamentally altered the digital regulation landscape. This motion, along with court challenges, will test the robustness of internet rulemaking in India. MediaNama has reached out to Viswam for comment. A publicly listed phone number for the MP was not reachable as of this report being published. Viswam is…

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