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Renowned Carnatic Vocalist, T M Krishna moves Madras High Court, challenges the constitution validity of the Information Technology Rules, 2021 [READ AFFIDAVIT]

By Aishwarya Gairola      12 June, 2021 02:44 PM      0 Comments
Renowned Carnatic Vocalist, T M Krishna moves Madras High Court, challenges the constitution validity of the Information Technology Rules, 2021 [READ AFFIDAVIT]

Renowned Carnatic Vocalist and Ramon Magasasay awardee TM Krishna moved the Madras High Court challenging the constitutional validity of the Information Technology (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, for imposing ‘arbitrary, vague, disproportionate and unreasonable" restrictions on digital news media and social media intermediaries.

Subsequent to the filing of the writ petition, the division bench of  the Madras High Court comprising Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy, on Thursday, June 10, 2021, issued a notice to the Union Government, directing the Union Government to file a counter-affidavit within three weeks.

In the writ petition prepared by Internet Freedom Foundation and Advocate Vrinda Bhandari, the petitioner Krishna said that the impugned rules offend his rights as an artist and. A cultural commentators by imposing a chilling effect on his right to freedom of expression and by impinging his right to privacy.

Furthermore, the petitioner contended that the code of ethics imposed by the impugned Rules on digital media are just as vague and subject as Section 66 of the IT Act, that was struck down in the Shreya Singhal Case, submitting “I submit that the Impugned Rules, which are vague and indeterminate, will thwart artists from raising difficult questions against existing aesthetic, gender and caste hierarchies in Karnatic music, and will thwart dissenters who question prevailing cultural mores. A reading of the Code of Ethics contained in the Impugned Rules makes it impossible to glean what will be considered by the Union government as acceptable speech in the online world. In any event, it is submitted that determining what is acceptable isn't the sole prerogative of the government. It is a role that ought to be fashioned in accordance with the constitutional scheme, which the Rules manifestly fail to do"

The Madras High Court became the fourth High Court in the country to consider the constitutional validity of the new IT rules by admitting the writ petition of T M Krishna after Delhi, Kerala and the Karnataka High Courts.



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