The Delhi High Court on Friday directed certain news channels, including Sudarshan News, and social media platforms like YouTube, Google and Twitter to block links of news reports accusing a Muslim man of forcefully converting a woman to Islam.
The court's order comes amid a row over 'The Kerala Story' - a movie inspired by four Kerala women who converted to Islam and travelled with their husbands to Afghanistan to join IS.
Justice Prathiba M. Singh was dealing with a plea by one Azmat Ali Khan seeking the removal of news content and clips aired on online platforms after a First Information Report (FIR) was lodged against him on April 19.
A Delhi-based woman accusing him of forced religious conversion had lodged an FIR.
According to Khan's argument, the Delhi Police are now looking into the allegations made against him, and the public release of the recordings poses a serious threat to both the independent probe and to Khan's safety and security.
While Google asserted that the originators of the videos should be heard because the FIR has already been filed, the counsel representing News Broadcasting and Digital Standards Authority submitted that none of the respondent news channels were members of News Broadcasters and Digital Association.
However, the counsel representing the Press Council of India stated that Khan's email from May 9 with links to news articles will be investigated.
The court then issued notice to the respondents, including Youtube, Google, Twitter, Sudarshan TV, Orissa TV, Bharat Prakashan and Suresh Chavhanke.
The Delhi Police was also issued a notice directing to place on record a status report on the probe in the matter and to contact the complainant and inform her about the pendency of the petition.
"Considering that there is severe threat as is evident from the comments placed before the court, it is directed that the links set out in the petition shall be immediately blocked for public viewing," the court said.
The movie, 'The Kerala Story' has triggered bans in India to avoid any incident of hatred and violence. Its makers say the film is based on years of research, but some critics have called it propaganda.