Court declines plea on blocking of web pages

September 5th, 2012 - 10:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Facebook New Delhi, Sep 5 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Wednesday refused to entertain a plea seeking the quashing of a government notification blocking web pages containing “inflammatory and harmful” contents inciting Muslims to target people from the northeast.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw dismissed the petition and said: “We are not inclined to entertain this as PIL.”

The bench however noted that the petitioners, a group of law students, can file individual petitions if any of them were aggrieved by the ban.

The court’s order came on a petition seeking to set aside the government’s notification issued last month to check online content which had led to widespread panic among people from northeast studying and working in various cities.

“Direct the government to unblock the uniform resource locators (URLs) covered under the notifications dated Aug 8, 19, 20 and 21…,” the petitioner said.

The government directed the national and international social networking sites, including Facebook, Google and Twitter, to ban those contents which were used to incite Muslims to target people from the northeast.

“The notifications are patently unconstitutional and they violate the fundamental rights of freedom of speech and expression by blocking access to websites without giving a hearing to the content owners and other affected people,” the petition stated.

The petitioner also contended that telecom service providers, internet service providers, search engines, online payment sites and cyber cafes were affected by the notification.

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