SC to hear this week Govt's plea for transfer of petitions pending in HCs over validity of IT Rules

·2-min read

New Delhi, Jul 6 (PTI) The Supreme Court is likely to hear this week the Centre’s petition seeking transfer of the pleas pending in different high courts challenging the validity of new IT Rules to the apex court for an authoritative pronouncement on the issue.

Several petitions challenging the new Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, are pending adjudication in different high courts, including the high courts of Delhi and Madras.

According to the new IT Rules, social media and streaming companies will be required to take down contentious content quicker, appoint grievance redressal officers and assist in investigations.

The new Rules also seek to regulate the functioning of online media portals and publishers, over-the-top (OTT) platforms and social media intermediaries.

According to the case status shown on the apex court website, the Centre’s plea, which was filed earlier, is likely to be listed for hearing on July 9.

Several pleas challenging the validity of new IT Rules are pending adjudication in the Delhi High Court which had sought response from the Centre on these petitions.

Earlier in the day, the Delhi High Court directed Twitter to inform it by July 8 as to when it will appoint a resident grievance officer in compliance with the new IT Rules after the microblogging platform submitted that it was in the process of doing so.

On June 28, the Delhi High Court while hearing some applications had refused to stay the new IT Rules, saying it was not in agreement with the petitioners on passing such an order at this stage.

Foundation for Independent Journalism, The Wire, Quint Digital Media Ltd and Pravda Media Foundation, parent company of Alt News, had sought a stay in the high court on the new IT Rules on the ground that a fresh notice was issued to them to comply with the rules or else coercive action will be taken.

Some of the pleas pending before the Delhi High Court have sought striking down of specific part of the IT Rules on the ground that it allegedly violates Article 19(1)(a) and 19(1)(g) of the Constitution creating a “chilling effect” on media freedom, Article 14 of the Constitution by creating an unreasonable classification and by setting up a parallel adjudicatory mechanism to be overseen by the officials of executive and is ultra vires the IT Act.

The Madras High Court had on June 23 issued notice to the Centre seeking its response on a plea challenging the constitutional validity of the new IT rules.

In March this year, the Kerala High Court had sought the Centre's response on a plea challenging the constitutional validity of new IT Rules. PTI ABA MNL SJK ABA RKS RKS

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