सुप्रीम कोर्ट ने आईटी नियमों के तहत फैक्ट चेक यूनिट की केंद्र की अधिसूचना पर रोक लगा दी।

सुप्रीम कोर्ट ने आईटी नियमों के तहत फैक्ट चेक यूनिट की केंद्र की अधिसूचना पर रोक लगा दी।

Supreme Court stays Centre's notification of Fact Check Unit under IT Rules.

Supreme Court halts Fact Check Unit under PIB, citing constitutional concerns. Bombay HC order overturned. IT Rules amended.

  • National News
  • 102
  • 21, Mar, 2024
Jyoti Ahlawat
Jyoti Ahlawat
  • @JyotiAhlawat

Supreme Court stays Centre's notification of Fact Check Unit under IT Rules.

The Supreme Court, on Thursday, halted the implementation of the Centre's directive to establish a fact-checking unit within the Press Information Bureau (PIB) aimed at detecting misinformation concerning the Union government. This decision came because the legal challenge against the Fact Check Unit (FCU) raised significant constitutional concerns. The FCU, instituted on March 20 under the Information Technology Rules, 2021, by the Ministry of Electronics and IT, was subject to scrutiny by a bench led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud. This bench overturned the Bombay High Court's March 11 ruling, which had refused to temporarily halt the establishment of the FCU under the amended IT Rules for identifying false content on social media related to the Union government. The bench emphasized that the issues brought before the High Court pertained to fundamental questions regarding Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution.

Expressing the need for further examination, the bench, including Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, stated, "We believe that the March 20, 2024, notification, issued after the denial of interim relief, must be suspended. The challenge against the validity of 3(1)(b)(5) raises substantial constitutional concerns, and the potential impact of this regulation on freedom of speech and expression warrants thorough evaluation by the High Court." The contentious provision in question is Rule 3(1)(b)(v) of the IT (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021. The FCU is intended to serve as the primary body for addressing or alerting regarding all instances of fake news or misinformation concerning the central government.

The notification regarding the FCU's establishment followed the Bombay High Court's decision not to restrain the Centre from implementing the unit, as per a petition filed by stand-up comedian Kunal Kamra and the Editors Guild of India.

In April of the previous year, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (Meity) introduced the 2023 Rules, which further amended the Information Technology Rules, 2021.

According to the new regulations, if the fact-checking unit encounters or is notified of any posts deemed "fake," "false," or containing "misleading" information about governmental affairs, it is mandated to bring them to the attention of social media intermediaries.

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Jyoti Ahlawat

Jyoti Ahlawat

  • @JyotiAhlawat