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Bombay HC stays adherence to Code of Ethics under Rule 9 of IT Rules

Rule 14 deals with the structure of an inter-departmental committee as an oversight mechanism over digital media, rule 16 pertains to the ability of the Centre to dam entry to content material.

Bombay HC stays adherence to Code of Ethics under Rule 9 of IT Rules-dnm
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Mumbai, First Published Aug 14, 2021, 7:22 PM IST
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The Bombay High Court stayed provisions of the Information Technology Rules, 2021 which mandate that digital news media and publishers should adhere to the “Code of Ethics” as prescribed by the Rules.

According to Bar and Bench, Bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice GS Kulkarni passed the verdict in the pleas by digital news portal, Leaflet and a Mumbai Journalist Nikhil Mangesh Wagle who had approached the Court for an interim stay on the application of the IT Rules, 2021 till the Writ Petition challenging the Rules was decided.

The court said that rules 9(1) and 9(3) of the IT (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 infringe the fundamental right to freedom of speech under Article 19(1)(a) and was against the substantive provisions of the IT Act, 2002, Live Law reported.

However, rules 14 and 16 of the IT Rules, 2021 were refused to stay.

While Rule 14 deals with the structure of an inter-departmental committee as an oversight mechanism over digital media, rule 16 pertains to the ability of the Centre to dam entry to content material.

The Bombay High Court had on Friday reserved its interim orders in two pleas challenging the recently notified Information Technology (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.

The petitioners, while seeking quashing of the new rules, have demanded interim relief by staying the rules pending hearing of their pleas.

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