Transfer of pleas against new IT rules: Supreme Court to hear Centre’s petition on July 16
The top court said the central government’s application, seeking transfer of petitions filed in various high courts to the apex court, will be taken up for hearing along with a pending matter related to regulating OTT content.
The Supreme Court said on Friday that the Union government's petition seeking transfer of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the new IT Rules from different high courts to the top court will be taken up for hearing on July 16. The plea, a bench of Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice Sanjiv Khanna said, will be heard along with a pending matter related to regulating over the top (OTT) platforms.
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"We will tag the Centre's plea with the Special Leave Petition (SLP)," the bench said, referring to the SLP in which the Supreme Court, in March, stayed proceedings in high courts on petitions over regulation of OTT platforms. To Solicitor General Tushar Mehta's request that proceedings pending in the high courts be stayed, the bench said, "We're not saying anything. We're simply tagging it with the other matter."
The transfer petition was filed by the central government in the apex court on Tuesday.
The Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code), Rules, 2021, were notified on February 25 and social media platforms operating in the country were given time till May 25 to comply with various norms as mandated by the IT Rules. Petitions challenging the rules have been filed in at least five high courts: Delhi, Madras, Bombay, Kerala and Calcutta. While most social media platforms, including Facebook and Google, have complied with at least some of the norms, it is Twitter with which the government has been engaged in a faceoff over the guidelines.
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On Thursday, Ashwini Vaishnaw, on his first day as the new Information and Technology minister, reiterated that the law of the land is supreme, and "Twitter must follow the rules."
(With PTI inputs)