Kerala HC seeks Centre's response on petition challenging validity of new IT Rules

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Kochi, Mar 10 (PTI) The Kerala High Court on Wednesday sought the Centre's response on a plea challenging the constitutional validity of new Information Technology (Guidelines For Intermediaries And Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.

Considering the plea filed by digital media outlet 'LiveLaw', Justice P V Asha directed the government not to take any coercive action against the petitioner for non-compliance of the provisions under Part III of the new rules, which deal with digital media regulation.

According to the petitioner, the Rules notified on February 25 'imposes an unconstitutional three-tiered complaints-and-adjudication structure upon publishers, which makes theexecutive both the complainant and the judge on vital free speech questions involving blocking and take down of online material'.

As per the petition, the mechanism is both arbitrary and violates the rule of law and separation of powers, especially since there is no provision for the aggrieved publishers to appeal against the decision of the Inter-Departmental Committee consisting only of members of the executive.

On Tuesday, the Delhi High Court had issued a notice to the Centre on a petition challenging the Rules.PTI COR TGB BN BN