Media Acclamation Court Order Suspending New TI Rules.
Some Indian media on Monday applauded a court order over the weekend that suspended part of the new rules that seek to regulate content on digital news websites, calling the move significant for press freedom in India.
The Mumbai High Court suspended the implementation of the rules that digital media would have to compulsorily follow the code of conduct established by the Press Council of India, a self-regulating press watchdog, and the broadcast television code. country cable.
The court ruled after petitions submitted by a news website and a journalist.
It also put on hold a three-tiered regulatory structure for digital news outlets, including an oversight mechanism by the federal government, a rule that raised concerns that it would slow down the media’s ability to report independently and was seen by many as part of government efforts. to stop the media.
The wide scope of the 2021 rules “has a chilling effect” on media freedom of expression, the court said, adding that the rules also go beyond the scope of India’s Information Technology Act.
“The Mumbai High Court order to uphold the most disgusting part of the government’s new IT Rules applied to digital media is a shot in the arm to press freedom,” said Siddharth Varadarajan, founding editor of the site. independent news website The Wire.
“The government was trying to turn digital news into an official straitjacket, but the court has rightly stopped this process.”
The final hearing in the case is scheduled for September 27.
India outlined its new content regulations – Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Code of Ethics – in February and the rules, which the government said are legally enforceable, took effect in late May.
The rules, largely intended to regulate large social media companies like Facebook and Twitter, and to oversee digital media outlets, have led to a number of legal challenges, including those for news organizations.
The non-profit organization, which runs The Wire, has also challenged the new rules in the Delhi High Court and the case is due to be heard later this month.