The Supreme Court on Monday gave a petitioner a week's time to study new IT Rules in connection with his plea to restrain social media platforms from carrying Islamophobic content and also seeking a direction to the CBI or NIA probe against Twitter, and its users involved in putting out "inflammatory posts".
Advocate Khaja Aijazuddin, petitioner-in-person, submitted before the top court that Telangana High Court asked him to come here. He added that I have prayed for developing guidelines for social media companies so that content does not hurt religious sentiments.
A bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana told the petitioner, "This issue was forgotten...why do you want to rake up these issues again? There are a number of other petitions pending in this court." Petitioner insisted that his plea has raised important issues in connection with posting of the inflammatory posts and hashtags against a particular religious community on the social media platforms.
The Chief Justice replied: "Have you examined the recent IT rules. It takes care of it".
The petitioner replied that rules never say it takes care of content pertaining to religion, and it is not mentioned in IT rules 2021.
The Chief Justice asked, "Where are the latest rules?" The petitioner submitted that I have not filed, but Twitter had stated rules were framed where due diligence was to be observed by intermediaries.
The Chief Justice said: "Please show us the latest rules and show us it is not there. Do your homework..have you made a representation to the government".
The court asked the petitioner to go through the new IT rules and come back to it. After a brief hearing in the matter, the top court has posted the matter for further hearing next week.
The plea sought direction from the top court to direct the appropriate agency, i.e., the CBI or NIA, to conduct investigation against Twitter and its users who were involved in inflammatory posts.
The plea also sought directions to the Centre to frame guidelines as envisaged under the provisions of IT Act, 2000, pertaining to hate messages against any religious community, including Islamophobic posts on various Social Media platforms.
The petition was filed by Aijazuddin in the backdrop of the reportage by media on the Tablighi Jamaat incident in New Delhi, Nizamuddin as an alleged cause for the spread of coronavirus.