Comedian Kunal Kamra Approaches Bombay HC Against IT Rules Amendment:-
Stand-up comedian Kunal Kamra has challenged Section 3(1)(b)(v) of the amended Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 (IT Rules 2021), before the Bombay High Court. The comedian has raised some genuine concerns before the Court concerning the legislation.
Arguments Raised by Kamra
Kunal Kamra has raised the concern that the section in question allows the Central government to check posts on social media for their authenticity and decide whether any fact posted about the government is true or not.
Kunal Kamra has rightfully pointed out, “...the Impugned Rules are manifestly arbitrary, as they entail the central government acting as a judge and prosecutor in its own cause, thus violating one of the most fundamental principles of natural justice.”
Critical Analysis of The Concern Raised by Kamra
While the section is a great tool to check upon spreading of fake news over social media, just like many other legislations which were initially made for the public good but misused by the government to serve its own purposes, this section is also capable of such misuse in the hands of the government.
Similar draconian legislation which had been misappropriated by the government to serve its purposes was the UAPA. The government was deeply engaged in suppressing voices against it under the pretext that it was a threat to the "national integrity and sovereignty" of India.
Section 3(1)(b)(v) of the IT Rules is a powerful tool in the hands of the government by which it can suppress the rational voices of social media users who spread awareness and fair criticism based on the actions of the government. The rights of citizens to be aware of the actions of the government can be hampered by the legislation since the government is at liberty to dismiss a post against it on the ground that it is "false."
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