Katju seeks restrictions on social media

New Delhi: Press Council of India Chairman Justice Markandey Katju today asked the government to form a committee to place restrictions on the social media which he said was "often acting in an arbitrary and irresponsible" way.

In a letter to Communications and Information Technology minister Kapil Sibal, Katju said that a panel should be immediately set up "so that the social media can be regulated and suitable legislation be initiated on the basis of the recommendations of this committee. Unless this is done irreparable damage may be done to individuals or to society, as the material shown may be inflammatory or defamatory or otherwise harmful to people," he said.

Katju had earlier written to Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni who had told him that it was Sibal`s ministry that dealt with the issue that the PCI chief was raising. In his letter to Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni, Katju had expressed distress "that a new practice has developed in the social media of its misuse for defaming people/groups/religions/communities."

"The recent example is of dissemination of a CD which even the author admitted had been distorted for defaming a reputed senior lawyer of the Supreme Court and Member of Parliament, and the threat to defame a Union Minister," he said in the letter to Soni. Justice Katju rued that the social media kept uploading the CD despite a court injunction against it and despite the author admitting that it was doctored.