Asianet News English

India defends new IT rules, says concerns are misplaced, exaggerated and disingenuous

A day after the United Nations Office of the Human Rights Commissioner expressed concerns over India's new Information Technology rules, the Indian government has set the record straight.

India defends new IT rules, tells UNHRC that right to freedom of speech is guaranteed-VPN
Author
New Delhi, First Published Jun 20, 2021, 3:56 PM IST
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Whatsapp

A day after the United Nations Office of the Human Rights Commissioner expressed concerns over India's new Information Technology rules, the Indian government has set the record straight.

The Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations, in a statement, highlighted that the country's democratic credentials are well recognised. 

The UN agency report said it was concerned that the new rules for social media come at a time when the enjoyment of the freedom of opinion and expression, including the right to receive information, and the right to privacy, is particularly important in light of a global pandemic and large-scale farmer protests in the country.

The report also noted that restrictions to freedom of expression could not be invoked as justification to muzzle any advocacy of multiparty democracy, democratic tenets and human rights.

On Sunday, the Permanent Mission of India responded by stating that the right to freedom of speech and expression is guaranteed under the Indian Constitution and that an independent judiciary and robust media are part of India's democratic structure.

The government noted that concerns that the new social media rules may be misused deliberately to make a large number of complaints so as to overwhelm the grievance redressal mechanisms created by social media platforms are misplaced, exaggerated and disingenuous.

The UNHRC report urged the Indian government to review the Rules and consult with all relevant stakeholders, including civil society members.

However, India's Permission Mission said that MeitY and Information and Broadcasting Ministry undertook broad consultations in 2018 with various stakeholders, including individuals, civil society, industry associations and organisations. 

After wide consultations with stakeholders, an inter-ministerial meeting discussed in detail the comments received in detail and the rules were accordingly finalised, the government said.

The Indian government clarified that the enactment of new IT Rules had become necessary due to widespread concerns about issues relating to increased instances of abuse of social media and digital platforms, including inducement for recruitment of terrorists, circulation of obscene content, the spread of disharmony, financial frauds, incitement of violence, public order etc.

The detailed statement is available here

Follow Us:
Download App:
  • android
  • ios