Amended IT Act: Bombay HC Refuses Stay On Notification Of FCU

Amended IT Act: Bombay HC Refuses Stay On Notification Of FCU

The social media intermediary then either has to pull down the information or be ready to defend its actions in court, if the case so arises.

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Wednesday, March 13, 2024, 06:32 PM IST
article-image
Bombay HC | File

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Wednesday rejected applications by standup comedian Kunal Kamra and others thereby paving way for setting up a fact-checking unit (FCU) under the recently amended Information Technology Rules to identify fake and false content on social media concerning the business of the Union government.

Rule 3(1)(b)(v) of the IT Rules amendment 2023 empowers the government to establish a Fact check Unit and unilaterally declare online content related to the government's business on social media platforms as fake, false or misleading. The social media intermediary then either has to pull down the information or be ready to defend its actions in court, if the case so arises.

The reconstituted bench of Justices Gautam Patel and Neela Gokhale passed the order after third judge, Justice AS Chandurkar, on March 11, opined that no case was made out for interim relief till he decides the clutch of petitions.

“The third judge has rendered his opinion. Consequently, the majority view is that the interim applications for stay and for continuation of the previous statement (by the Union) are rejected,” the bench said.

“The balance of convenience tilts in favour of the non-applicants in view of the categorical submission made by the learned Solicitor General that political opinions, satire and comedy are aspects not sought to be linked to “the business of the Central Government,” Justice Chandurkar had said in a detailed 27-page order.

The court also noted that notifying the FCU would not result in an irreversible situation as any action taken post notifying the FCU would always be subject to the validity of the challenged amended rules.

Chief Justice DK Upadhyaya assigned the matter to Justice Chandurkar after the bench of Justices Patel and Gokhale delivered a split verdict on January 31, 2024. Justice Patel struck down the amended rule establishing FCU while Justice Gokhale ruled against the petitioners.

There were differences of opinion in all aspects, including the question of interim relief. Therefore, the petitioners filed the present interim applications seeking for the FCU not to be notified till the matter is finally decided by Justice Chandurkar.

RECENT STORIES

Ghatkopar Hoarding Collapse: GRP Received 4 Complaints Before Mishap, Claims Ex-Chief Quaiser Khalid

Ghatkopar Hoarding Collapse: GRP Received 4 Complaints Before Mishap, Claims Ex-Chief Quaiser Khalid

Theif Loots Valuables Including LED TV From Famous Marathi Writer Narayan Surve's Neral Home; Later...

Theif Loots Valuables Including LED TV From Famous Marathi Writer Narayan Surve's Neral Home; Later...

Vivek Agnihotri Criticises BMC Over Pothole Menace In Mumbai During Monsoon: 'These Urban Swimming...

Vivek Agnihotri Criticises BMC Over Pothole Menace In Mumbai During Monsoon: 'These Urban Swimming...

Disha Salian Death Case: Citing Political Bias, BJP MLA Nitesh Rane Seeks Removal Of Police Official...

Disha Salian Death Case: Citing Political Bias, BJP MLA Nitesh Rane Seeks Removal Of Police Official...

Mumbai: Police File Charges Against 2 In Beed For Accepting Bets On Application Linked To Mahadev...

Mumbai: Police File Charges Against 2 In Beed For Accepting Bets On Application Linked To Mahadev...