Foul content on websites hurts religious Indians, court told (Lead)

February 14th, 2012 - 11:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Facebook New Delhi, Feb 14 (IANS) Showing of objectionable content by social networking sites and websites like Facebook and Google affects religious sentiments of crores of Indians, Delhi Police Tuesday told the Delhi High Court.

Justice Suresh Kait was hearing a plea filed by Facebook and Google challenging a trial court’s order to prosecute them for allegedly hosting objectionable content.

Advocate Naveen Sharma, appearing for police, said that in October last year the government called the representatives of Google, Facebook and other websites and asked them to remove the objectionable content, but the companies did not comply.

Counsel of Facebook and Google asked the government why it was intervening in the case.

A company’s counsel said: “In case of private companies, I have not seen Union of India rush into matters like this.”

“We are curious as to why the government of India has become a party to a case between private parties?”

The court would next hear the case Feb 16.

The government in its reply before the trial court had sanctioned prosecution of social networking sites and websites like Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo India over objectionable content on their sites.

Petitioner Vinay Rai approached the trial court to remove objectionable content from 21 websites including Facebook, Google, Yahoo and YouTube. Among these, 12 websites are of foreign-based companies.

Metropolitan Magistrate Sudesh Kumar summoned the accused companies to face trial for allegedly committing offences punishable under the Indian Penal Code sections 292 (sale of obscene books and material) and 293 (sale of obscene objects to young person).

The trial court observed that the material submitted by the complainant contained obscene pictures and derogatory articles pertaining to Hindu deities, Prophet Mohammad and Jesus Christ.

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