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Delhi HC seeks government’s response on blocking of satirical dowry calculator website

The website, which was launched in May 2011 to highlight the evils of dowry, was blocked by the government in July 2018

dowry calculator website screenshot

The Delhi High Court on January 23 issued a notice to the Indian government in response to a plea filed by Tanul Thakur challenging the government's blocking of his satirical website called Dowry Calculator (dowrycalculator.com). Justice Prathiba M Singh asked the government and Thakur to file their written submissions and listed the case for hearing on May 15. The Justice also remarked that the website appeared "quite creative." Why was the website blocked: The website, which Thakur launched in May 2011 to highlight the evils of dowry, was blocked by the government in July 2018 following a complaint by MP Jyotiraditya Scindia and Minister of Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi. Delhi High Court's earlier order: In May 2022, the Delhi High Court, in an unprecedented move, directed the IT Ministry to share the blocking order with Thakur and give him a post-decisional hearing in front of the blocking committee constituted under IT Rules, 2009. Following this order, in a correspondence dated 20 June 2022, the government conveyed to Thakur that the blocking committee concluded that the website should remain blocked. The website remains blocked to date but is accessible through some internet service providers (ISPs). The government declined to unblock the site even with a disclaimer: While Thakur was initially reluctant to put a disclaimer noting that the website was satire, he later agreed to do so. But the government said that it will not unblock the site whether or not it carries a disclaimer, the petitioner told the court today. The petitioner further…

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