Bombay High Court Stays IT Rules Framed For Digital Media Violated Right To Freedom Of Speech
Mumbai, August 15 (TNA) In a big won for digital media and news publishers, the Bombay High Court (HC) has stayed the clauses 9 (1) and 9 (3) of the Information Technology Rules, 2021which pertain to adherence to code of ethics, reports suggest.
The Bombay High Court said that the requirements violated freedom of speech. On the ace of it, the court ruled, it had found that these sub-clauses violated the petitioners' constitutional right to freedom of speech and expression under Article 19.
Provisions of Clause 9 also went beyond the scope of the substantive law (the Information Technology Act of 2000), it said.
The order came on petitions filed by legal news portal The Leaflet and journalist Nikhil Wagle which challenged several provisions of the new IT Rules claiming that they were vague and likely to have a "chilling effect" on a citizen's right to free speech guaranteed by the Constitution.
Last month, in a setback to the government, the Supreme Court had refused to stop different courts from hearing challenges to the new rules, which were introduced by the centre in February this year.