Supreme court to resume hearing of porn ban petition | india | Hindustan Times
Today in New Delhi, India
Sep 27, 2017-Wednesday
-°C
New Delhi
  • Humidity
    -
  • Wind
    -

Supreme court to resume hearing of porn ban petition

The Supreme Court will on Monday resume hearing a petition seeking a ban on pornographic websites, during which the government is expected to outline its stance on the blocking of more than 850 portals with adult content.

india Updated: Aug 10, 2015 10:34 IST
HT Correspondent

The Supreme Court will on Monday resume hearing a petition seeking a ban on pornographic websites, during which the government is expected to outline its stance on the blocking of more than 850 portals with adult content.

During a hearing last month, Chief Justice HL Dattu declined to pass an interim order to block porn websites and said the court could not stop an adult from exercising his fundamental right to personal liberty to watch porn within the privacy of his room.

“Somebody may come to the court and say look I am above 18 and how can you stop me from watching (pornography) within the four walls of my room. It is a violation of Article 21 (right to personal liberty),” Dattu remarked.

Indore-based lawyer Kamlesh Vaswani has filed a public interest litigation seeking a ban on porn websites in India. Vashwani had contended that the court should pass an interim order because the government had failed to act.

The Chief Justice acknowledged the issue is serious and said some steps need to be taken. "The Centre is expected to take a stand. Let's see what stand the Centre will take," he said.

The government subsequently issued an order on July 31 to internet service providers (ISPs) to block 857 websites but the move triggered a row that forced authorities to backtrack.

A second order directed ISPs to only block only websites hosting child pornography. But the ISPs refused to implement the order for unblocking sites without child pornography unless they are given a specific list.

The ISPs put the onus on the government for identifying specific websites to be unblocked and told the department of telecommunications that they do not have any mechanism to filter such portals.

“We submit that direction given…is very vague and un-implementable, as ISPs have no way or mechanism to filter out child pornographic from URLs and further unlimited sub-links of the said URLs in different name," Internet
Service Providers Association of India (ISPAI) president Rajesh Chharia said in a letter to telecom secretary Rakesh Garg.

The ISPs said they "cannot monitor each and every website and check the portal from uploading any child pornographic content".

Read:Porn ban debate: 'Is govt curbing our individual freedom?'

Proxies and VPNs: Why govt can't ban porn websites?