Supreme Court Issues Notice To Centre Over Plea Seeking Law To Regulate Social Media, Curb Fake News, Hate Speech

The plea sought directions for establishing a mechanism that could automatically remove fake news and hate speeches within a short timeframe.

India   |   1 Feb 2021 12:48 PM GMT
Writer : Devyani Madaik | Editor : Shubhendu Deshmukh | Creatives : Abhishek M
Supreme Court Issues Notice To Centre Over Plea Seeking Law To Regulate Social Media, Curb Fake News, Hate Speech

The Supreme Court on Monday, February 1 sought responses from the central government and other concerned ministries, on the plea seeking the framing of law to regulate social media platforms, to curb the spread of fake news and hate speech.

The apex court was hearing a petition filed by advocate Vineet Jindal, who has sought directions to the Centre to constitute a law for prosecuting people or groups involved in spreading hate and fake news through social media platforms, The Week reported.

In the notice issued, the top court also sought directions for establishing a mechanism that could automatically remove fake news and hate speeches within a short timeframe.

The bench comprising of Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and Justices A.S. Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian tagged the notice with a pending petition seeking setting up of a media tribunal to adjudge complaints against the media, channels and networks.

On January 25, the top court had sought responses from the Centre, Press Council of India (PCI) and News Broadcasters Association (NBA) on a PIL seeking setting up of a media tribunal. The PIL was filed jointly by filmmaker, Nilesh Navalakha and civil engineer Nitin Memane.

The plea further stated that the right to freedom of speech and expression is not absolute and is subject to reasonable restrictions under Article 19 of the Indian Constitution. It carries special duties and responsibilities as well.

Social media's reach is much wider than any other medium, and it needs to be regulated. A few have misused the platform for instigating communal violence, the plea added.

The plea also sought an independent committee headed by either a former Chief Justice of India or the top court judge, to review the legal framework of the media business regulations and suggest guidelines accordingly.

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