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Google moves court claiming new IT rules not applicable to its search engine

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US-based technology giant Google has approached the Delhi High Court claiming that the new information technology rules for digital media do not apply to its search engine.

The company has requested a division bench of the court to set aside the order passed by a single judge which applied the rules on it while adjudicating a case related to the removal of offensive content from the web.

Case history

A woman had approached the single-judge bench of the court after her photographs were uploaded on a pornographic website by some miscreants and despite court orders, the content could not be removed in entirety from the World Wide Web and “errant parties merrily continued” to re-post and redirect the same to other sites.

The single-judge in his April 20 judgment termed the search engine of the tech giant as a ‘social media intermediary’ or a ‘significant social media intermediary’ as provided under the new rules implemented by the centre.

What Google said

In its petition, Google has challenged the single judge’s judgment for terming its search engine as a ‘social media intermediary’.

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The petition provides, “The single judge has misinterpreted and misapplied the New Rules 2021 to the appellant’s search engine. Additionally, the single judge has conflated various sections of the IT Act and separate rules prescribed thereunder, and has passed template orders combining all such offences and provisions, which is bad in law.”

What Delhi HC said

A division bench of the high court led by Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh issued a notice to the Centre, the Delhi government, Internet Service Providers Association of India, Facebook, the pornographic site and the woman, on whose plea the single judge’s ruling had come, and sought their responses by July 25. The court also said that it was not going to issue any interim order at this stage.

 

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