‘Meant to be a weapon for Executive’: PTI challenges constitutional validity of IT Rules, 2021 in Delhi HC

Press Trust of India, the country’s largest news agency, said in its plea that the IT Rules, 2021 will usher in an “era of surveillance and fear” which will result in self-censorship

‘Meant to be a weapon for Executive’: PTI challenges constitutional validity of IT Rules, 2021 in Delhi HC
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NH Web Desk

Press Trust of India (PTI) has challenged the constitutional validity of IT Rules, 2021 in Delhi High Court, arguing that the rules are aimed at targeting publishers of news and current affairs content.

The country’s largest news agency said in its plea that the IT Rules will usher in an “era of surveillance and fear” which will result in self-censorship.

A division bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice J R Midha issued notice to the Centre, listing the case for hearing on August 20, as per media reports.

As reported by National Herald, a petition challenging the applicability of the IT Rules to digital media filed by The Quint, The Wire and Alt News was taken up on Wednesday by Delhi HC, which refused to grant them interim relief from coercive action and issued notice to the Centre.

The PTI’s petition argued that Part III of the Rules imposes government oversight on digital news portals, a ‘Code of Ethics’ which stipulates “vague conditions” such as “good taste”, “decency”, prohibition of “half-truths”, and “draconian” consequences for perceived non-compliance.


“These rules are only meant to be a weapon for the Executive or the State to enter and directly control the content of online digital news portal,” said the petition.

The Centre also informed the court that it has moved a petition before the Supreme Court for transfer of all petitions challenging the IT rules before different High Courts.

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