The Delhi police on Tuesday told the high court that the websites booked for carrying objectionable material had been given sufficient warnings and opportunities by the information and technology ministry to remove them before steps were taken for their prosecution.
“Contention of the websites that they were not informed or given a chance before the action is false. Time and again they were requested to remove the objectionable content”, public prosecutor Naveen Sharma submitted before Justice Suresh Kait.
Sharma produced in the court four letters written by the Information and Technology ministry to Yahoo and Google — dated October 31, December 12 and November 21 last year and January 11, 2012 — informing them about complaints of objectionable content and asking them to remove them at the earliest.
The websites challenged the summons before the Delhi High Court. They denied carrying any objectionable material and said there was no cause of action against them.
When lawyers for websites accused centre of “over-reacting” on a “mere private complaint” by giving sanction for prosecution, Justice Kait said: “I don't consider it is a simple complaint by an individual. Plea says emotions of crores of citizens are affected ...the complaint is that it is hurting morality and religious sentiments. It needs to be viewed seriously”.