Udayavni Special

HC seeks Centre’s stand after Google says IT rules not applicable to search engine


PTI, Jun 2, 2021, 11:27 AM IST

New Delhi: Google LLC has contended that Information Technology rules for digital media are not applicable to its search engine, and urged the Delhi High Court on Wednesday to set aside a single judge order which applied the rules on the company while dealing with an issue related to the removal of offending content from the internet.

The single judge’s decision had come while dealing with a matter in which a woman’s photographs were uploaded on a pornographic website by some miscreants and despite court orders, the content could not be removed in entirety from the World Wide Web and “errant parties merrily continued” to re-post and redirect the same to other sites.

A bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh issued notice to the Centre, Delhi government, Internet Service Providers Association of India, Facebook, the pornographic site and the woman, on whose plea the single judge’s ruling had come, and sought their responses to Google’s plea by July 25.

The court also said that it was not going to issue any interim order at this stage.

Google has contended that the single judge, in his April 20 judgement, “mischaracterised” its search engine as a ‘social media intermediary’ or ‘significant social media intermediary’ as provided under the new rules.

“The single judge has misinterpreted and misapplied the New Rules 2021 to the appellant’s search engine. Additionally, the single judge has conflated various sections of the IT Act and separate rules prescribed thereunder, and has passed template orders combining all such offences and provisions, which is bad in law,” it has said in its appeal against the April 20 judgement.

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