A Delhi Court on Saturday ordered 22 social networking sites, including Facebook, Google, Yahoo and Microsoft, to remove all "anti-religious" or "anti-social" contents in the next one-and-a-half-month and file compliance reports by February 6, 2012.
Additional Civil Judge Mukesh Kumar
A worker at Google in Shanghai walks near their reception desk in their Shanghai. Google Inc may pull out of China because of censorship and cyber attacks on rights activists.
passed the order on a suit filed by Mufti Aijaz Arshad Qasmi seeking to restrain the websites from circulating objectionable and defamatory contents.
Kumar had on December 20 issued summonses to the social networking sites and asked them to remove objectionable photographs, videos or texts that might hurt religious sentiments.
The order comes a day after a criminal court issued summonses to the sites for facing trial for allegedly webcasting objectionable contents. The court had also directed the Centre to take "immediate appropriate steps" and file a report by January 13.
Representatives of Yahoo India Pvt Ltd and Microsoft on Saturday told the court that they had not got copies of the order and complaint against them and pleaded the judge to provide the same. Qasmi's counsel told the court that he would supply the relevant documents to them.
Monitoring contents on the Internet, particularly those generated by users, has been a controversial issue and IT minister Kapil Sibal had recently raised the issue with representatives of some of these companies and discussed ways to ensure such contents are not posted.
The websites - asked to remove objectionable contents - include Facebook India, Facebook, Google India Pvt Ltd, Google Orkut, Youtube, Blogspot, Microsoft India Pvt Ltd, Microsoft, Zombie Time, Exboii, Boardreader, IMC India, My Lot, Shyni Blog and Topix.
A Google spokesperson told HT: "We comply with valid court orders wherever possible, consistent with our long standing policy. We're yet to receive the details of this order and can't comment on this specific case."
Yahoo, Microsoft and Facebook could not be reached for comments.