High Court OrderInformation Technology (GIDMEC)Rules,2021- Facing Hurdles

March 14, 20210

Information Technology (GIDMEC)Rules,2021- Facing Hurdles

The moment the Information Technology (Guidelines For Intermediaries And Digital Media Ethics Code)Rules,2021{ herein after referred as Information Technology (GIDMEC)Rules,2021}was notified by the Government of India on 25th February,2021, it has been subject matter of various judicial scrutiny in Constitutional Courts as below:

a. Supreme Court on 05th March,2021

The Supreme Court while dealing with a matter related to webseries “Tandav” arising out of the order of denial of anticipatory bail by Allahabad High Court to  Aparna Purohit, Prime Video, India Head, observed as under:

“These OTT Rules don’t have any teeth; they’re only just guidelines”.

“A perusal of the Rules indicate that the Rules are more and more in the form of guidelines and have no effective mechanism for either screening or taking appropriate action for those who violates the guidelines.Mr. Tushar Mehta, the learned Solicitor General submits that the Government shall consider and take appropriate steps for regulation or legislation as may be found fit by the Government and the same shall be placed before the Court”

The revised rules for OTT is expected to be filed in SC latest by the 3rd week of March,2021.


b. High Court of Delhi on 09th March,2021

The High Court of Delhi has issued a returnable notice on a plea of challenging Information Technology (GIDMEC) Rules, 2021 on the ground that Section 66A of the Information Technology Act,2000( the Act) had already been struck down by the Apex Court and hence the notification of the present rules which is at par the ingredients of Section 66A of the Act can’t sustain.

Hence, it was contested that these rules are an indirect attempt to implement the already struck provision. The Petition was filed by ‘Foundation for Independent Journalism’.


The matter is expected to come up on 16th March,2021.


b. High Court of Kerala on 10th March,2021

The High Court of Kerala has passed an interim order to the effect that “The Respondents shall not take any coercive action against petitioners for non-compliance of the provisions contained in Part III of Exhibit PI Rules”,as the petitioners are the publishers of law reports and legal literature”.

The petition was filed by LiveLaw wherein the Part II and III of Rules were challenged for being illegal and violative of Articles13,14, 19(1)(a), 19(1)(g), and 21 of the Constitution of India and also ultra vires the Information technology Act,2000.



It will be very interesting to see as to how this Information Technology (GIDMEC)Rules,2021will evolve or sustain after so many judicial interventions cum scrutiny, to start with, especially  at a time when it is being widely felt that not only a self discipline has to be observed and implemented by the Social Media, OTT and New Publishers but also a regulation should be in place so that untoward incidences like in past could be checked at the first place.

Under any given situation, the said Rules should not compromise with the artistic freedom of creativity  but it should always be accompanied with a reasonable self regulated responsibility at the end of OTT. As regards to the Social Media, the check on infringement of intellectual property rights will be a prime factor whereas, publication of authentic news at the end of news publishing websites should be the top priority always.

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