In support of the application questioning the latest Information Technology (Guidelines for intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021, the Delhi High Court has summoned a report from the Government.
On the complaint filed by The Foundation for Independent Journalism, a division bench of the high court-supervised by Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Jasmeet Singh provided notice to the Central government.
Senior advocate Nitya Ramakrishnan, arguing for the appellants, claimed that the laws are in variance with the Centre’s affidavit in the Supreme Court in the Google Case.
The laws are challenged as being “ultra vires,” according to the petition. “The complainants publish entirely digital news and current affairs materials and are thus specifically impacted by this abuse of power by subordinate legislation,” according to the plea.
“As opposed to curated content, the appellants’ online media portals publish news and opinions. The current petition only addresses the IT Rules, 2021 such as they impact digital news portals, but not in reference to ‘publishing companies of online curated content,’ i.e., OTT media sites and any other organizations sought to be governed by the Ultra vires Rules,” the plea added.
The new laws, according to the senior lawyer, go beyond what would be acceptable in a democracy.
The hearing of the case has been postponed till April 16.