SC to examine validity of IT rules to make online censorship mandatory for portals

New Delhi, April 30 (ANI): The Supreme Court has agreed to examine the validity of Information Technology Rules making it mandatory for a website owner to screen content and exercise online censorship of contents posted on the portal.

A two-judge bench of the apex court, comprising of Mr. Justices T.S.Thakur and S.J. Mukhopadhaya has issued notices to the Central Government and all state governments on a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by a company Mouthshut.com(India) Pvt, which runs a portal mouthshut, challenging the Information Technology (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules, 2011.

The company pleaded with the apex court that the rules be declared as illegal, null and void as they are ultravires of the Constitution.

"It is submitted that the impugned Rules impose significant burden on it forcing it to screen content and exercise online censorship which in turn impacts the freedom of speech and expression of its customers thereby risking a loss of its large consumer base or incurring legal costs and facing criminal action for third party user-generated content," the petitioner said. (ANI)