Another petition has been filed with the Bombay High Court (HC) challenging the recently notified Information Technology Rules of 2021 (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Code of Ethics for Digital Media), issued under the law on information technology (IT)
By KAY Dodhiya, Bombay
POSTED 04 JUL 2021 23:28 IST
Another petition has been filed with the Bombay High Court (HC) challenging the recently notified Information Technology Rules of 2021 (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Code of Ethics for Digital Media), issued under the law on information technology (IT). Digital information portal petition declares IT rules arbitrary, illegal and contrary to fundamental rights under Articles 14, 19 and 21 of Indian Constitution, ultra vires IT law, unlawfully delegating powers judicial to the executive. and attempt to overturn a long series of precedents set by the Supreme Court.
The petition claims that IT rules unconstitutionally restrict and restrict press freedom and should therefore be quashed. Journalist Nikhil Wagle also filed a public interest litigation (PIL) on similar grounds on Friday. Both petitions are expected to be heard in due course.
The online news portal that passed the petition through his company and former journalist Ashish Khetan says “IT rules unconstitutionally restrict and restrict press freedom in India.” Elaborating on the reasons, the petition says the rules give the state pervasive powers of control over published content, overregulation and undue burden on the press through onerous obligations that will financially and operationally drain resources and the capacities.
The petition also alleges that the rules will result in usurpation of judicial powers by executive bodies that violate constitutional standards for the exercise of quasi-judicial powers. He further clarified that the above reasons are compounded by the fact that the rules do not have the sanction of Parliament.
Referring to the high cost of compliance burdens, the petition states that the implementation of IT rules will lead to a cooling of the freedom of expression of reporters and journalists working with the petitioners. He added that although a request for meaningful consultation has been requested with stakeholders, given that they have not received a response from the authorities, the petitioners have approached the HC.