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SC refuses to stay rule on objectionable online content

Supreme Court Friday said the government’s mandate to block objectionable content online could not be in all cases meant curbing freedom of expression.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi |
August 17, 2013 5:17:56 am

Calling for a “holistic view” over the issue of Internet censorship,the Supreme Court Friday said the government’s mandate to block objectionable content online could not be in all cases meant curbing freedom of expression.

A Bench of Justices H L Gokhale and J Chelameswar underlined that isolated incidents of controversial website posts could have severe repercussions in the country and hence there seemed to be no prima facie error with a rule to remove objectionable post within 36 hours from networking sites after receiving a complaint. “In a huge country of 120 crore people,if something objectionable is published,then it has consequences all over the country,particularly if it is related to political and religious issues. You have to remove it then. We have to take a holistic approach,” said the Bench.

It referred to the rumours on clashes in Myanmar that forced people from the Northeast to leave Bangalore in August last year. “You know how rumours were spread. Something happened in Myanmar and Northeast people in Bangalore had to leave the city. We have a host of problems in this country. What is wrong with the rules? Serious things have happened because of such posts,” said the court.

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