Under fire for having blocked 78 websites following a Gwalior court order against websites allegedly carrying defamatory material against Arindam Chaudhari’s Indian Institute of Planning and Management, the government has now said that it has been wrongly dragged into the dispute.
On 14 February department of information technology (IT) blocked the websites, but following the huge uproar over the move, it has now decided to move court and be made party in the case.
“We will tell the court that it is an issue between the publisher of the material (websites) and the affected party (IIPM),” said an official of the communications and IT ministry.
“No notice was issued to us and we were not given an opportunity to respond…Let the affected party claim damages from the publisher. The government should not be asked to block any site or page,” said the official.
IIPM responded, quoting Chaudhari, “Anything that is defamatory will be strongly contested. The govt is well within its right to try and contest the verdict, but any objectionable material will eventually have to go from the Net.”
The web pages blocked following the court order included the University Grants Commission. In a public notice on its website posted in July last year, the UGC had cautioned the students that it did not recognise the IIPM as a university.
UGC chairman Dr Ved Prakash told HT that the public notice regarding the unrecognised status of IIPM is present on its website even now.