Kerala HC directs centre not to take coercive action against livelaw.in under new rules

The legal news portal had moved the Kerala High Court seeking an injunction against the UOI and MIB and their authorised officers from enforcing Part II and Part III of the IT Rules, 2021

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Mar 15, 2021 4:03 PM
LIVE LAW

The Kerala High Court has admitted a petition filed by Live Law Media against the new intermedia rules notified by the centre. The high court has directed the Union of India and the ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB) not to take coercive action against the petitioners for non-compliance with the rules for digital news publishers.
Live Law Media, which is the publishers of legal news portal livelaw.in, had moved the Kerala High Court seeking an injunction against the UOI and MIB and their authorised officers from enforcing Part II and Part III of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.

It also pleaded for restraining UOI and MIB from taking any coercive steps it or its employees, directors, shareholders, or any persons who contribute articles to its publication for failure to comply with the intermediary rules.

It also urged the court to restrain UOI and MIB from enforcing any provisions of the rules till the constitution and designation of the authorities required to implement the provisions of the said Rules and till an effective and adequate and effective grievance redressal mechanism and appellate remedy is provided to digital news entities to challenge orders passed under the said impugned Rules.

Appearing for Live Law Media, Advocate Santhosh Mathew submitted before the bench that the Information Technology Act did not confer any rule-making power on the Central Government to regulate digital media. He argued that the regulatory mechanism under the Rules are invasive, disproportionate, and arbitrary.

Arguing for UOI and MIB, Advocate Suvin Menon argued that the source of the power of the Rules can be traced to Sections 69A and 69B of the IT Act. He also argued that the substantive rule-making power of the authority is not affected by the mere non-mentioning of the source of power.

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