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Can't restrict circulation of fake news on social media: MP High Court

The HC dismissed a plea filed by a social worker stating that there are no statutory provisions for such censorship

Sabrangindia 17 Oct 2020

Social media

The Madhya Pradesh High Court on October 14, 2020 said it cannot restrict the circulation of news on social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook and others simply on the basis of wide allegations levelled by the petitioner.

Justices S. C. Sharma and Shailendra Shukla heard the plea of social worker Madhav Singh who asked the Court to issue an order against fake journalists and news channels that worked on mobile applications like WhatsApp, Facebook, YouTube without the permission of the Information Public Relations Department (IPRD.)

Moreover, he also asked that Ujjain’s District Magistrate and IPRD be directed to prevent such activities from taking place in future.

However, the Court said, “The petitioner has not been able to point out any statutory provision of law which entitles the publicity department to have a check on such news.”

Accordingly, they said that Singh is free to take recourse to legal remedies if any crime is committed or if any law is violated. However, since the petitioner has made no such complaint in the present plea, the Court cannot issue a blanket order to restrict circulation of news on mobile applications.

The judiciary has of-late received and disposed of many such appeals for regularising fake news on social media. The latest prior to Wednesday’s petition was made in June.

In May, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Vinit Goenka moved the Supreme Court to direct the Central Government to devise a mechanism that will check fake news and instigative messages on virtual platforms like Twitter.

Further back in 2019, lawyer Anuja Kapur filed a petition that talked about fake news, such as videos of previous air-shows and photos of crashing fighter jets, circulated on various platforms in wake of the India-Pakistan tension. However, the Supreme Court immediately dismissed the plea.

Related:

MP HC drops NSA charges, grants bail to 4 Muslim youth

SC quashed Guj government’s anti-worker notification

Fake video of Union Health Minister being ‘beaten up’ resurfaces

Media coverage on Covid-19, anti-CAA protests, prejudiced: Report

Can't restrict circulation of fake news on social media: MP High Court

The HC dismissed a plea filed by a social worker stating that there are no statutory provisions for such censorship

Social media

The Madhya Pradesh High Court on October 14, 2020 said it cannot restrict the circulation of news on social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook and others simply on the basis of wide allegations levelled by the petitioner.

Justices S. C. Sharma and Shailendra Shukla heard the plea of social worker Madhav Singh who asked the Court to issue an order against fake journalists and news channels that worked on mobile applications like WhatsApp, Facebook, YouTube without the permission of the Information Public Relations Department (IPRD.)

Moreover, he also asked that Ujjain’s District Magistrate and IPRD be directed to prevent such activities from taking place in future.

However, the Court said, “The petitioner has not been able to point out any statutory provision of law which entitles the publicity department to have a check on such news.”

Accordingly, they said that Singh is free to take recourse to legal remedies if any crime is committed or if any law is violated. However, since the petitioner has made no such complaint in the present plea, the Court cannot issue a blanket order to restrict circulation of news on mobile applications.

The judiciary has of-late received and disposed of many such appeals for regularising fake news on social media. The latest prior to Wednesday’s petition was made in June.

In May, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Vinit Goenka moved the Supreme Court to direct the Central Government to devise a mechanism that will check fake news and instigative messages on virtual platforms like Twitter.

Further back in 2019, lawyer Anuja Kapur filed a petition that talked about fake news, such as videos of previous air-shows and photos of crashing fighter jets, circulated on various platforms in wake of the India-Pakistan tension. However, the Supreme Court immediately dismissed the plea.

Related:

MP HC drops NSA charges, grants bail to 4 Muslim youth

SC quashed Guj government’s anti-worker notification

Fake video of Union Health Minister being ‘beaten up’ resurfaces

Media coverage on Covid-19, anti-CAA protests, prejudiced: Report

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