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Supreme Court halts Fact Check Unit notification: Here’s All You Need to Know About the Case Proceeding

Here’s what went down in the hearing of the appeal against the Indian government notification of the Fact Check Unit.

In what came as a sigh of relief for the petitioners of the Fact Check Unit (FCU) case, the Supreme Court of India on March 20, 2024 decided to stay the notification issued by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) for the formation of a Fact Check Unit. The appeal filed by the Editors Guild of India (EGI) and satirist Kunal Kamra was heard by a three-judge Bench comprising Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud, Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra. Stating that the stay will remain in force until April 15, when the referral judge is scheduled to provide comments on the matter, the Bench said, “We set aside the opinion of the third learned judge declining interim relief and direct that pending the final disposal by the High Court, the notification dated March 20 by MeitY shall remain stayed.” The Bench made this decision after hearing the arguments of both the applicants' and the Indian government’s legal representatives. Largely, the arguments focused on the IT Act's safe harbour clause, the role of Article 19(A) or its lack thereof, and the government’s argument of merely alerting its citizens via Rule 3 1(b) under the IT Rules. Intermediaries will err on the side of caution to protect safe harbour Darius Khambata, appearing as Kamra’s legal counsel, spoke about the fallacy in assuming that the intermediaries dealing with the Fact-Check Unit’s notices will deny take-down orders at the risk of losing safe harbour privileges (section 79 of the…

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I'm interested in the shaping and strengthening of rights in the digital space. I cover cybersecurity, platform regulation, gig worker economy. In my free time, I'm either binge-watching an anime or off on a hike.

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