AIMIM supporter's hate speech case: Can block access permanently if court or govt orders: Facebook, YouTube inform HC
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In a development in the AIMIM supporter's hate speech case, the Bombay High Court was on Monday told that the user could be blocked from accessing the social media sites, if the court or the Union government, orders so. The HC has reserved its judgment on the plea seeking permanent ban on an AIMIM supporter, who posted inflammatory content, aimed at creating communal tensions, on Facebook (FB) and YouTube.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Anuja Prabhudesai was informed by FB and YouTube that they could permanently block the access of one Abu Faizal, an AIMIM supporter, if the judges or the Union government issues such orders.

The bench was dealing with a criminal PIL seeking deletion of Faizal's videos from FB and YouTube. The plea also demanded a permanent ban on Faizal from using social media platforms.

In an earlier hearing that took place in May this year, the bench had ordered both the social media websites to delete Faizal's videos.

Appearing for FB, senior counsel Darius Khambata told the judges that they have already deleted Faizal's content. Similar submission was made by YouTube.

However, the bench was informed that despite the deletion of the earlier clips, Faizal has put up the videos again and even more hate content.

At this, Khambata said, "If that is the case, we can put a permanent ban on him (Faizal) from using our platforms. But for this, there must be an order either from this court or the Union government, which is provided under the Information Technology (IT) Act."

Having heard the contention, CJ Datta noted the IT act has provisions wherein a person can approach a nodal officer, who is appointed by the Union government to look into such complaints against users for uploading objectionable content.

"The law has apt provisions. We do not see why courts must interfere then," CJ Datta said while closing the matter for judgment.

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Free Press Journal