Yesterday's session at the Delhi High Court seemed to have a rather interesting turnout. Justice Suresh Kait of the Delhi HC was hearing to the plea put forth by the lawyers of both Google India and Facebook, senior advocates N K Kaul and Siddharth Luthra requested him to keep the government out of the proceedings, while treating the objectionable matter case as a private complaint, reports Indian Express. One of the lawyers stated, “We have strong objections to the State becoming party to the matter. Why should the central government become a party to a private complaint?“
& the trial continues … (Image credit: Getty Images)
The court, while rejecting the plea stated that there was no way in which the court could treat it as a private complaint, since unlike in a private complaint, wherein only the complainant is the victim and nobody else is affected, in this case, the objectionable content could hurt the feelings of a much larger crowd. While justifying the rejection, Justice Suresh Kait stated, “This cannot be treated as a private complaint. It is not a complaint where only the complainant is the victim and nobody else is affected. It is a complaint wherein the complainant has alleged that the websites published objectionable materials against some great national personalities and religious figures.”
While the court has now pushed the next hearing on this case to Thursday, IT Minister, Mr. Kapil Sibal, who was at an information technology summit in Mumbai, assured that the government will never censor social media, but having said that, he cleared that the Internet firms are expected to obey the country's laws. The minister, at the event was quoted in a BBC report as saying, “I want to say once and for all, without any obfuscation, no government in India will ever censor social media.“
This comes in as an update to the ongoing court case between the government and some 21 social networking websites operational in the country, who have been accused of permitting objectionable content to go up on their websites, which the government believes can potentially trigger negative reactions from the masses.