‘Spell out time frame to finalise social media rules’

The Madras High Court on Thursday directed the Centre to spell out by June 27 the time frame within which it would finalise the draft of the Information Technology [Intermediaries Guidelines (Amendment)] Rules of 2018 so that social media companies could be made to cooperate with the police in investigating crimes.

Status of draft

A Division Bench of Justices S. Manikumar and Subramonium Prasad directed the Central Government Senior Standing Counsel Venkataswamy Babu to obtain instructions on the status of the draft rules, the process through which it had to go through before finalisation and the time required to complete the process.

The directions were issued after advocate-general Vijay Narayan, representing the State government, brought it to the notice of the court that most of the difficulties faced by the police in obtaining crucial information from social media giants could be resolved if the amended rules were notified and brought into force by the Centre.

However, for the interregnum period, he urged the court to direct social media companies to cooperate with the police and provide all necessary information.

After recording his submissions, the Division Bench directed him to produce details regarding information sought so far in various cases, the information provided and the information that had been denied.

Details sought

The details were ordered to be submitted in the court by June 27 by when a battery of senior counsel, including Kapil Sibal, Arvind P. Dattar, P.S. Raman and Satish Parasaran, representing various social media companies, agreed to revert to the court after examining the reasons for them not being able to share certain information.

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Printable version | Apr 17, 2021 2:59:21 AM |

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