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SC agrees to hear plea challenging centre’s decision to create a social media hub

Team SoOLEGAL 19 Jun 2018 10:30am

SC agrees to hear plea challenging centre’s decision to create a social media hub

A vacation bench of the Supreme Court comprising of Justices S Abdul Nazeer and Indu Malhotra, on Monday, agreed to hear a plea on the Centre’s decision to create a Social Media Communication Hub (SMCH).

The petition was filed by Trinamool Congress (TMC) MLA Mohua Moitra's alleging that the Centre’s decision to set up social media hub would violate an individual’s right to privacy.

Responding to the petition, the government claimed that the move would keep it up to date with citizens' view on various programmes and help comprehend their perception on various schemes.

The government further claimed that SMCH is an attempt to instill nationalist feelings among citizens and become capable of opposing campaigns intended to harm India's image globally.

Mohd Nizam Pasha, representing TMC MLA Moitra, told the vacation bench that the proposal to set up SMCH would become a tool in the hands of private agencies to help the government snoop on citizens' activities on social media platforms in violation of right to privacy.

Pasha requested the court for an early hearing as the government was about to proceed with the tender process.

Moitra said that, the Broadcast Engineering Consultants India Limited (BECIL) recently floated tender inviting bids for supply of software for the project.

She then quoted the tender document, which said, “A technology platform is needed to collect digital media chatter from all core social media platforms as well as digital platforms such as news, blogs…In a single system providing real-time insights, metrics, and other valuable data". Moitra said it was nothing but snooping and violating an individual's right to free speech and expression.

The SC bench, however, refused to grant an urgent hearing, saying it would hear Moitra's plea after its summer break.

Tagged: Supreme Court   Trinamool Congress   MLA Mohua Moitra   Social Media Communication Hub  
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