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Madras HC restrains Modi govt from taking coercive action under new IT rules

The two-judge bench granted the injunction when a new PIL came up for hearing Monday from Indian Broadcasters & Digital Media Foundation challenging the new IT rules' provisions.

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Chennai: The Madras High Court on Monday restrained the Central government from taking any coercive action against digital media firms under the new cal codes made to the parent Information Technology Act.

The first bench of Acting Chief Justice M N Bhandari and Justice P D Audikesavalu gave the injunction when a new Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition from the Indian Broadcasters and Digital Media Foundation came up for hearing today.

“The respondents (Centre) are restrained from taking any coercive action without the permission of the Court,” the bench said and posted the matter for further hearing on January 25.

The petition challenged the provisions of Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, brought in February this year.

Earlier, the petitioner’s senior counsel alleged that the Centre was initiating penal action as per the provisions of the Rules, even though the Bombay High Court had granted an interim stay of the Rules a couple of months ago.

The Bombay High Court had on August 14 this year stayed the operation of sub-rules (1) and (3) of Rule 9 of the said Rules of 2021.

The Kerala High Court had also passed a similar order restraining the Centre from taking any action, he pointed out.


Also read: New IT rules seek to prevent fake news, misuse of freedom of press: Modi govt to Delhi HC


 

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