Lawstreet Journal

IT (Intermediary Guidelines & Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021 Challenged in the Delhi HC by ‘The Wire’ & Others

Lawstreet Journal 11 Mar 2021 4:12pm

Image courtesy: Lawstreet Journal Business IT (Intermediary Guidelines & Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021 Challenged in the Delhi HC by ‘The Wire’ & Others

‘The Wire,’ an online new portal approached the Delhi High Court to challenge the new rules which have been formulated by the Central Government under the Information Technology Act, 2000. These new rules aim to regulate the digital news media, internet intermediaries and OTT (Over-the-top) platforms. 

‘Foundation for Independent Journalist,’ a trust owning ‘The Wire’ filed the petition along with Founding Editor of ‘The Wire,’ MK Venu and Founder and Editor in Chief of ‘The News Minute,’ Dhanya Rajendran. The matter will be heard by a division bench headed by Chief Justice DN Patel on March 9, 2021. 

The IT (Intermediary Guidelines & Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021, which are the rules in question had been notified by the Centre on February 25, 2021. They prescribe a code of ethics along with a three-tier mechanism as framed under the IT Act, 2000. 

It has been alleged by various activists, journalists as well as lawyers that these rules are an attempt to constraint the freedom of press as it tightens executive control on digital media. The repeal of the said rules have been demanded by the Editors Guild of India. 

When the rules in question were notified, Sidharth Varadarajan was quoted saying in an interview with LiveLaw: 

"On a quick reading, the burdens being placed on publishers of digital news go beyond the basic restrictions on freedom of speech (and thus freedom of of the press) envisaged by Article 19 and are therefore ultra vires the Constitution. Digital publishers are already subject to Article 19… Continue Reading...

Tagged: Digital Media   Ravi Shankar Prasad  
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