In spite of the fact that social media is a great tool for information, it has been misused by people at large. One such incident came to light wherein a photograph of a deceased lady is being circulated on various social media platforms claiming it to be the victim of Hathras rape and murder case.
The Delhi High Court bench headed by Justice Navin Chawla heard the complaint of a man who claimed that his deceased wife’s photograph is being circulated on social media platforms, wrongly depicting her as the victim of Hathras rape case. The counsel for the petitioner submitted that even otherwise, the revelation of identity of the rape victim is an offense under the Indian Penal Code, though in the present matter image of a wrong person is in circulation.
Subsequently, the bench directed the Centre (Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology) to act on the complaint expeditiously, if proven to be correct, within a period of three days from the receipt of the order by issuing necessary directions to Facebook, Twitter, and Google, in this regard.
Further, the court also directed the petitioner (complainant) to send the necessary documents in support of his grievance to the ministry along with a copy of this order and also identifying the URLs which are currently carrying the offending content.
“In view of the submission made, the respondent no. 1 (Ministry of Electronics and Information Technologies) is directed to look into the complaint of the petitioner (man) and, if the complaint of the petitioner is found to be correct, act on the same expeditiously, in any case, within a period of three days from the receipt of a copy of this order, by issuing necessary directions to the respondent nos. 2 to 4 (Facebook, Twitter, and Google) in this regard,” read the court order.
Meanwhile, the counsel for Twitter agreed that the man can make a complaint to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), and once the information regarding the offending URLs is forwarded to it through the proper channel referring to this court order, the same would be blocked and removed from its platform. The counsel for Google also made a similar submission and said it was merely a search engine and once the information regarding the URLs of the offending content is forwarded to it, it will be deleted or blocked.