SC refuses to intervene in cases filed against IT Rules 2021 in different HCs

The centre had filed a transfer petition in the SC seeking transfer of all cases related to IT Rules to the apex court

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Jul 10, 2021 8:19 AM

The Supreme Court Friday refused to stop different courts from hearing challenges to the new IT Rules 2021 which were introduced by the government in February. The centre had filed a transfer petition in the SC seeking transfer of all cases related to IT Rules to the apex court.

The IT Rules 2021 have been challenged before Delhi, Bombay, Madras and Kerala High Courts.

In Delhi HC, Quintillion Digital Media, Foundation for Independent Journalism (The Wire), The News Minute Founder and Editor-in-Chief Dhanya Rajendran and The Wire Founding Editor MK Venu. So far, the Delhi HC has not offered any relief to the petitioners.

Recently, Press Trust Of India (PTI), India's largest news agency, challenged the IT Rules in the Delhi HC which has issued notices to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (Meity) and the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB).

The court has tagged PTI's plea with Quintillion Digital, The Wire and The News Minute petitions and has listed the matter for hearing on August 20.

The News Broadcasters Association (NBA) and Live Law Media, which is the publisher of legal news portal, have got interim relief from the Kerala High Court against any coercive action by the centre for non-implementation of IT Rules 2021.

The Digital News Publishers Association (DNPA) had recently challenged the IT Rules 2021 in the Madras High Court. The division bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy has issued notice to the Union of India (UoI) and has granted liberty to DNPA to approach the court if any coercive action is taken by the government. Carnatic vocalist, cultural critic, and writer T. M. Krishna has also filed a petition against the IT Rules before the Madras HC.

Digital news portal The Leaflet has filed a petition in the Bombay High Court against the IT Rules 2021. The platform has contended that the rules are in violation of Article 14 (right to equality), Article 19(a) (freedom of speech and expression), and 19(1)(g) (freedom to practice any profession or to carry on any occupation, trade or business).

Senior journalist Nikhil Wagle has also filed a PIL before the Bombay High Court. Describing the rules as arbitrary, illegal and against the principle of net neutrality, the PIL seeks a stay on the IT Rules.

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