Indian News agency Press Trust of India has approached the Delhi High Court challenging Information Technology (IT) Rules, 2021, as per media reports. PTI, in the petition, alleged that the Central government was attempting to regulate digital news media.
A bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice J.R. Midha issued notice to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting on the petition.
The court regarded the plea to be heard along with other petitions filed by numerous online news media companies against the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, on August 20.
As per the media reports, PTI has challenged the constitutional validity of the rules. It purports to regulate ‘publishers of news and current affairs content, particularly digital news portals, by imposing “sweeping” government oversight and a vaguely worded ‘Code of Ethics’.
The report further claimed that the plea argued the IT Rules would “usher in an era of surveillance and fear, thereby resulting in self-censorship, which results in abridgement/ violation of Fundamental Rights as enshrined under Part III of the Constitution of India.