“Primary liability is of websites where such material is posted”

Search engine Google India on Thursday submitted before the Delhi High Court that it could not filter objectionable content posted on websites as it was not a website.

Making submission before Justice Suresh Kait, counsel for the search engine further submitted that it had no liability or system to filter objectionable content. The primary liability to filter it was of the websites where such material was posted.

The company also expressed its inability to filter objectionable content as it was posted in hundreds of languages from all over the world.

On its status, the company said it was only a subsidiary of Google Incorporated and therefore could not be prosecuted.

Justice Kait was hearing petitions filed by social networking site Facebook India and Google India challenging their summoning by the trial court for allegedly exhibiting objectionable content.

On December 23, the trial court summoned representatives of 21 networking sites, taking cognisance of a private criminal complaint.

The court also directed the Centre to take immediate appropriate steps and file a report in the court by January 13. “It appears from a bare perusal of documents that prima facie the accused, in connivance with each other and other unknown persons, are selling, publicly exhibiting and have put into circulation obscene, lascivious content,'' the court order stated.

The complaint has been filed under Sections 292 (sale of obscene books etc), 293 (sale of obscene objects to young person etc) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.