New Delhi, May 17 - In the wake of a recent court order directing internet giants to remove objectionable contents from Indian websites, an opposition member today brought a motion in Rajya Sabha for annulment of government rules aimed at regulating internet content.
The statutory motion, moved by P Rajeeve (CPI-M), demanded that the Information Technology (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules, 2011, are ultra vires of the provisions of the parent IT Act and violate the freedom of speech and expression.
He said the rules should be done away with and noted that Parliament had powers to intervene in matters of subordinate legislations like this and asked the government to bring the required amendments instead of bringing such rules.
Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley complimented Rajeeve for bringing to their notice that Parliament had a role in not just enacting new laws but also in overseeing and supervising subordinate legislations.
Noting that it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to defy technology and that the days of withholding information have gone, Jaitley urged the Minister to "reconsider the language of restraints" to prevent its misuse.
He said he had no objection to the architecture of the Bill but felt "there is need for a balanced approach".
E M S Natchiappan (Cong) said there was a House Committee on subordinate legislations to look into such matters.
The IT Rules of 2011 stipulate that websites "cannot host information that is a grossly harmful, harassing, blasphemous, defamatory, obscene, pornographic, paedophilic, libellous, invasive of privacy, hateful, or racially, ethnically objectionable, disparaging, relating or encouraging money laundering or gambling, or otherwise unlawful in any manner whatever, harm minors or infringes any patent, trademark, copyright or other proprietary right." PTI