Logo

Defender of your Digital Freedom

Home > Freedom of Speech > SC refuses to issue interim order blocking pornographic content on the Internet; says it would violate Article 21

SC refuses to issue interim order blocking pornographic content on the Internet; says it would violate Article 21

Jul 10,2015 | 12:22 pm

A writ petition filed by an Indore-based lawyer – Kamlesh Vaswani – seeking to prohibit and criminalize the viewing of Internet porn was taken up for hearing by a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court on Wednesday, 8th July. The petition (filed in October 2013) urges the SC, in light of the damage done to contemporary Indian society and mores, to declare existing and ineffective pornography-related provisions of the Information Technology Act, 2000 as unconstitutional, and to direct the formulation of a separate legislation, national policy and draft action plan to curb access to Internet porn. The petition also asks that watching/sharing Internet porn be treated as non-bailable, cognizable offenses.

At Wednesday’s hearing, advocate Vijay Panjwani appearing on behalf of the petitioner highlighted an incident where indecent photographs of a woman were circulated on-line by her estranged husband, and lamented the Centre’s inaction despite express instructions from the SC to file an affidavit on whether it is competent to ask Internet Service Providers to block pornographic content. Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand appearing on behalf of the Centre assured the SC that the Ministry of Home Affairs would soon file a response to the petition, and that all possible measures under the IT Act would be taken to address the issue. The Bench comprising Justices H L Dattu, Arun Misra and Amitava Roy directed the Centre to file a detailed affidavit within four weeks, and asked Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar to assist in the matter and advise the concerned departments of the Government.

Further, the Bench refused to entertain the petitioner’s request for an interim order, maintaining that the Court cannot dictate what a citizen may or may not watch within the four walls of his room. It was said that such an order would be violative of Article 21 of the Constitution, which guarantees the Fundamental Right to Life and Personal Liberty, in which the right to privacy is implicit. The Court nevertheless conceded that the issue at hand is a serious one and that the Centre’s response is awaited.

The matter is next listed for 10th August, 2015.

Representation sent to Arunchal Pradesh

A newspaper article dated 30.10.2020 published in Telegraph India titled ‘Arunachal Internet Bar to curb Cheating’ stated that Arunachal Pradesh government will be ...

Event – Creating Safe Spaces Online

SFLC.in in collaboration with Trust Law, Thompson Reuters Foundation is hosting a 2 day event on 'Creating Safe Spaces Online' on 21st-22nd ...

SFLC.in writes to the Criminal Reforms Committee

SFLC.in sent its recommendations to the Criminal Reforms Committee on 16th September 2020. Our recommendations covered criminal sanctions against free speech ...

Representation sent to Government of Rajasthan to publish orders regarding suspension of Internet services.

SFLC.in wrote to the Home Secretary, Government of Rajasthan as well the District Collectors of Udaipur, Dungarpur, Pratapgarh and Banswara ...

Letter to the Standing Committee on Information Technology on Content Moderation by Social Media Platforms

SFLC.in has written to the Standing Committee on Information Technology chaired by Dr. Shashi Tharoor on the Content Moderation policies ...

Collective statement to urge the Government of Jammu and Kashmir to restore High-Speed internet.

SFLC.IN along with a coalition of non-profit organisations and civil society groups voice their concerns urging the Jammu and Kashmir ...

SFLC.in sent a representation to the IT standing committee

SFLC.in had written to all the members of the IT committee chaired by Dr. Shashi Tharoor on 8th June 2020 highlighting ...

Event – Reconciling State’s interests with a digital life

SFLC.in in collaboration with Live Law is hosting a panel to commemorate an entire year of communication block in The ...

SFLC.in wrote to the IT committee on issue of women saftey in Digital Spaces

SFLC.in wrote to the Standing Committee on Information Technology chaired by Dr. Shashi Tharoor on the issue of women safety ...

Analysis of the recent app blocking

MEITY on 29th June 2020 blocked 59 apps using Section 69A of the Information Technology Act coupled with the Blocking Rules ...