The Supreme Court will consider transferring to itself all cases linked to the new Information and Technology for digital media and giving it a combined hearing. The plea came from the Centre, which filed a transfer petition days after the Bombay High Court put on hold a part of new rules that seeks to regulate content on digital news websites.
The court ordered that the petition be listed along with a case against media reports on the Tablighi Jamaat gathering in Delhi last year, which was blamed for a spike in Covid cases. The hearing will be held after six weeks.
On August 16, the Bombay High Court put on hold the implementation of rules which required digital news media to compulsorily follow the code of conduct laid down by the Press Council of India, a self-regulating press watchdog, and the country’s cable TV code.
Various petitions have been pending in different High Courts across the country – many of them challenging the new laws. Several courts have already said that no coercive action can be taken against publishers who have not implemented the rules. The relief to the publications remain in place for now.