New Delhi :- Hearing a batch of writ petitions seeking action against the media for communalizing the Tablighi Jamaat meeting at Delhi’s Nizamuddin Markaz, Chief Justice of India NV Ramana criticized the attempts to communalise news in social media and online portals. expressed concern about
The Chief justice of india lamented that web portals are not governed by anything and social media companies only listen to powerful people and not institutions or common people.
He said, “Twitter, Facebook or YouTube… they never reply to us and there is no accountability. They write badly about institutions and they don’t respond and say it’s their right.
They only have The concern is for the powerful men, not the judges, institutions or the common man. This is what we have seen.”
The CJI also asked whether there were any rules governing web portals like YouTube, which show so much in a minute.
“If you go to YouTube, so much is shown in a minute. You can see how much fake news is there. Web portals are not controlled by anything. There is an attempt to communalise the news and It is a problem. Ultimately it brings bad name to the country.”
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta replied, “Not only communal but also sponsored news is shown.” Mehta said the new IT rules are aimed at addressing the same issues that the CJI Ramana has discussed.
He mentioned that the IT rules have been challenged before various high courts and the central government has filed a petition to transfer all of them to the Supreme Court. The Solicitor General requested the bench to list the transfer petitions along with the present petitions.
Justice Surya Kant, included in the bench, agreed to list the Centre’s transfer petitions on IT rules along with the current batch of petitions. The petitioner was given liberty to amend his prayers. The matter will be posted after 6 weeks.
News Broadcasters Association, a respondent in the petitions, told the bench that the Kerala High Court has granted them interim protection from penal action under the new IT Rules.
Responding to the CJI’s comments, senior advocate Sanjay Hegde, appearing for one of the petitioners in the matter, told the bench that Twitter has “deplatformed” him and he has filed a case challenging the suspension of his account.