The Madras High Court on Thursday stayed the implementation of a key provision of the Information Technology Rules, 2021, enacted in May, according to media reports. The provision required setting up an oversight mechanism by the Central government to regulate social media and digital media platforms.
The operation of Rule 9(1) and 9(3) of the Information Technology (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 was stayed by order was pronounced by a bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice P D Audikesavulu.
“Prima facie, there is substance to the petitioner’s grievance that the oversight mechanism to control the media by the Government may rob the media of its independence and the fourth pillar of democracy may not at all be there,” the bench reportedly said.
Rule 9 of the IT Rules mandates setting up of a grievance redressal mechanism. Sub-Section 1 calls for establishing a portal by the Ministry of Information and Technology for receiving complaints against media platforms. Under sub-Section 3, an acknowledgment of every complaint is generated within 24 hours of receiving the complaint.
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