Former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) ideologue KN Govindacharya on Wednesday moved Public interest litigation (PIL) in the Delhi High Court, in which he has accused multiple leading social media companies of 'misusing the idea of free speech' and not following the Indian laws, which has resulted in the formation of a divisive society and has created a riot like situation.
Following the hearing of the case, the High Court bench has issued a notice to Google India, Facebook India, and Twitter India on the plea. The court has also asked the social media companies to formally notify details of designated officers for intermediaries under Information Technology Rules and removal of fake news and hate speech which is being shared on social media. According to ANI, the Delhi High Court has put up the matter for further hearing on April 13.
Earlier on March 3, the newly formed 'Peace and Harmony' committee of the Delhi government during its first meeting decided to take strong action against the spread of fake news and hate messages. According to the committee, spreading of any fake news and hate messages via WhatsApp or social media can now lead to three years of imprisonment in Delhi.
According to AAP MLA and chairman of the committee, Saurabh Bharadwaj, there is an increasing sense of hatred in the society due to the fake messages. He said, “If you are in a chat group in which someone has sent a provocative message then you can become a whistleblower by complaining about it. The committee will propose that such people receive a reward of Rs 10,000 if an FIR gets registered on their complaint."
Bharadwaj further added that the panel will cross-check the complaints using its team of legal experts and if they find that the content can potentially cause hatred, disturbance or enmity between two communities or groups then they will recommend criminal prosecutions to the law enforcement agencies for necessary action.