Delhi High Court directs Central government to take action against 5 Domain Name Registrars for not complying with court orders

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The Delhi High Court recently directed the Department of Technology (DoT) and the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) to take action against Domain Name Registrars (DNRs) for not complying with the orders passed by the Court [Star India Pvt Ltd v. MHDTV World & Ors].

Justice Prathiba M Singh directed the authorities to look into whether these DNRs ought to be permitted to continue to offer their goods and services in India, if they are not giving effect to orders of Indian courts and are not complying with the Information Technology Act, 2000, and the 2021 Rules.

The Court directed the government to file its action taken report by the next date of hearing, which is scheduled on January 11, 2023.

The direction came after the Court was informed by Star India that its previous order restraining rogue websites from streaming and broadcasting the cricket matches of the recently concluded Asia Cup has not been followed by five DNRs.

The Court was further told that this is not the only order which has not been complied with, and that these DNRs are violating various injunction orders, thereby rendering them ineffective.

Justice Singh said that it is her prima facie view that all DNRs must abide by and give effect to orders passed by competent courts, government authorities, etc.

“This Court has previously taken note of Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers’ (hereinafter “ICANN”) agreement governing the relationship between registry operators, DNRs, and the domain name registry. These agreements also impose obligations upon DNRs to comply with all applicable laws, Court orders, etc.”

Advocates Sidharth Chopra, Yatinder Garg, Kriti Jindal, Akshay Maloo and Rimjhim Tiwari appeared for the plaintiffs.

Advocates Anjani Kumar Rai, Sparsh Karnwal, Manmohan Kumar Jha, Anadi Mishra and Parva Khare appeared for the defendants.

CGSC Apoorv Kurup along with Advocates Nidhi Mittal and Aparna Arun appeared for the Centre.

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