Cable television

Supreme Court Rejects IT Rules Challenge, 2021; Cable TV Network (Amendment) 2021

The Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down a batch of motions, challenging the 2021 Information Technology Rules (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Code of Ethics) and the 2021 Cable TV Network (Amendment) .

The motions were dismissed by a bench consisting of Judge AM Khanwilkar, Judge Abhay S. Oka and Judge JB Pardiwala, after the lawyer informed the Court that the rules to be drafted and implemented in the plea had been implemented.

Seeking to formulate appropriate gender-neutral law against revenge porn, impersonation and morphing on the internet, the petitions challenged the 2021 Information Technology Rules (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Code of ethics of digital media).

The Apex Court further allowed the plea filed by Skand Bajpai to be withdrawn with freedom to file an amended motion as the plea was filed before the introduction of the IT rules.

Appearing in person, Bajpai said from the bench that there have been several instances, in which several child sexual abuse materials were sold on the internet.

Judge Khanwilkar responded by saying that in this motion the new computer rules were not challenged and the plea was filed before the new computer rules were introduced. Therefore, the petition needs amendments.

In a similar case filed by Amol Palekar, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta informed the bench that the PIL challenged the validity of the 2021 IT rules, therefore, this must be heard. However, SG Mehta further informed the bench that a grievance mechanism has been introduced.

While saying he will review the rules once, the Apex Court scheduled the case for a rehearing on July 27, along with the cable TV rules.

The Court had previously asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta or someone in his office to prepare a chart of cases involving:

“1. Challenge to IT Rules

  1. Cable TV Rules Challenge
  2. Petitions asking for instructions on computer rules.
  3. Another series of cases involving hate speech and hate crime cases. »

The plea filed by Skand Bajpai called on the government to take effective action regarding:

a) Age regulations regarding access to social media,

b) Root out fake profiles and catfish accounts by designing a profile verification mechanism,

c) Eliminating illegal content appearing on social media and designing a mechanism to prevent such content in the future,

d) Upgrading the education policy for the inclusion of effective mandatory sex education of adolescents as well as the introduction of a topic to educate individuals on their conduct on social media with the associated risks and safety features and

e) Formulation of an appropriate law against revenge pornography, impersonation and morphing on the Internet.

Bajpai’s petition alleged that people were buying, selling and transmitting private graphic information, rape videos and CSAM of unidentified people on social media platforms in exchange for money, received through electronic wallets and UPI transactions.