Convene stakeholders’ meeting to block child pornography: SC
New Delhi, Feb 12, 2020(IANS):
The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Centre to hold discussion with internet intermediaries, including Google, WhatsApp and Facebook, to develop a strategy to restrict circulation of rape videos, child pornography and images.
A bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde and comprising Justices B.R. Gavai and Surya Kant noted the submissions of advocate Aparna Bhat, appearing for Hyderabad-based NGO Prajwala. Bhat submitted a meeting, to deal with circulation of obscene content on social media platforms, is yet to be convened by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) involving all the stakeholders since December 2018.
Solicitor Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, submitted before the court the meeting on this matter would take place soon and asked the court not to pass any order. Bhat cited the difference in opinion between the NGO and internet intermediaries on the matter – NGO reckon the content can be blocked at the outset, but internet companies say materials have to be brought to their notice to take action.
The top court on Tuesday said it will ask MHA to schedule a meeting on this matter.
The court asked Bhat to provide a status report to all parties to the case and scheduled the matter for further hearing after four weeks. In 2018, the apex court had said the Centre could lay down standard operating procedure (SoP) to block obscene content involving children.