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IT Act

13 February 2014

Madras HC chief Agrawal talks candidly on local turmoil: Recently elevated Madras HC chief justice RK Agrawal, at his farewell, made reference to HC justice CS Karnan barging into his chamber hurling abuse. Agrawal said that while nobody had “ever raised their voice” to him in his 37 year career, Karnan was the one exception. “I need not tell you that the events of this Court are followed throughout the country. I worry not about the personal comments, but I do get pained when I hear that innuendos are being targeted at the High Court and it is becoming the subject of public ridicule,” he said [New Indian Express] He also said that many of his colleague’s on the HC’s bench desired transfer to another high court [TOI]

Gov blocks 1299 social URLs: Government asked social networking sites to block 1,299 web addresses or URLs to comply with court orders between January 2013 and January 2014, reported the [PTI]

Gujarat prisoners UIDed: Out of total 12,123 inmates in Gujarat prisons, all Indian nationals will get Aadhar cards according to a recent HC direction to the state government [TOI]

3 Bihar district judges dismissed: The Bihar government has dismissed three district judges whose dismissal was recommended by a full court of the Patna high court, after they were “found with some women” in a Nepal hotel’s police raid [TOI]

JAC controversial clause dropped: A controversial clause debarring judges from making verbal comments against any constitutional authority during open hearings was today dropped by the Cabinet in the Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill, reported the [Indian Express]

18 September 2013

Chinmayi Arun, NLU Delhi’s research director at the centre for communication governance, senior advocate Aman Lekhi and Legally India editor Kian Ganz talk “internet laws around the world” in a panel discussion hosted by Newslaundry’s Madhu Trehan.

Should India’s IT Act be amended? Lekhi says, not really, Arun argues for adopting global human rights recommendations, Ganz says the IT Act sucks but perhaps things aren’t all that bad yet in India.

Newslaundry: Part 1 & Part 2 (around 50 minutes in total)

16 May 2013

TRAI-ing new approach: On enforcing the 12 min/hour advertising cap on TV, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India head Rahul Khullar says: “I don’t have to win a fucking election. I am a regulator, I am answerable to Parliament, my job is to enforce the law. Once the regulation is issued, it is law. The telecom guys know this. The broadcasting guys are learning it late.” [Mint]

Facebook arrest: Supreme Court refuses to allow a blanket ban on arrest under Section 66 of the Information Technology Act 2000 for posting content on social networking sites, but reasserts that such arrests can only be made after permission from senior police officials [Hindu]

NLU targets: National law universities need a more rigorous curriculum, greater focus on post graduate courses, greater faculty focus on research, “higher benchmarks”, consultative regulation from the BCI, and integration of inter-disciplinary subjects argues the Hindu Businessline [HBL]

SEBI’s grey options: There are a number of options available to the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) between the two extremities of being ‘reactive’ or ‘proactive’ when dealing with capital market frauds, argues former SEBI executive director Sandeep Parekh [BS]

Sibal to-do: A Delhi-based lawyer chalks a to-do list for new law minister Kapil Sibal: A constitutional amendment to change the collegium system, appointment of law officers by the judiciary instead of the executive, amendment of economic laws, and reduction in case pendency [Hindu]

28 March 2013

A unified regulator – the Unified Financial Agency (UFA) - for markets, insurance, commodities, pensions, and eventually banking, also subsuming the SEBI, SAT, IRDA, PFRDA, and FMC and merging the RBI with it, was proposed on Friday [BS]

US Supreme Court may partially strike down law denying legally married gay couples full marital rights, though the verdict of the nine-judge bench is not likely before June even as final arguments draw to a close [Express]

Report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Subordinate Legislation lambasted the government for the ambigious Section 66A of the IT Act and Intermediary Guidelines. The committee suggested that evidence of foreign websites refusing to honour Indian laws should be made public [TOI]

Family of late Delhi HC judge Jagjit Singh – a judge of the HC for 11 years until 1975 – obtains their medical entitlement under the HC Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Act after a protracted legal battle [India Today]

Bombay HC directs Goa to file 151 FIRs containing illegal mining charges against former ministers, mining company owners and state officials [Hindu]

01 January 2013

LI and Mint, together every fortnightIn last week’s Mint: Travel site Cleartrip landed a massive PR victory and garnered lots of Internet brownie points this month, ironically after firing its PR company.

29 November 2012

Facebook: Like! 21-year old law aspirant Shreya Singhal, a graduate in astrophysics from the UK’s Bristol University, daughter of Supreme Court advocate Manali Singhal and grand daughter of the late Delhi high court judge Justice Sunanda Bhandare, challenged section 66A of the Information Technology Act in the Supreme Court today under which two women were booked for a comment critical of Bal Thackeray on Facebook 10 days ago.

27 November 2012

The magistrate who had ordered two women, who criticised Mumbai’s shut-down on Facebook after the death of Bal Thackeray last week, to be taken into judicial custody and later released on Rs 30,000 bail, has been transferred to Jalgaon in the far North of Maharashtra.

The Bombay High Court has ordered first class judicial magistrate Ramchandra Bagade to move immediately to Jalgaon from Palghar, which is in the Thane district near Mumbai, reported NDTV.

An inquiry into the incident has so far indicted the policemen involved in the action that was taken under the IPC and the IT Act and the Maharashtra home minister RR Patil may publicly comment on this later today [NDTV]

19 November 2012

Liking things online is dangerous A 21-year-old woman and her friend were arrested for allegedly posting and endorsing a comment on Facebook that was critical of the two-day bandh following the death of Mumbai politician Bal Thackeray on Saturday, according to several independent media reports.

14 November 2012

Google transparency The Indian courts made 20 orders for the removal of 487 content items hosted on the internet by Google services between January and June 2012, setting a new record and keeping India’s second global place in Google’s internet censorship rankings, as the executive asked for personal data on 3,467 users of Google services.

14 September 2012

LI and Mint, together every fortnightToday’s Legally India page in Mint: The typical citizen could be forgiven for fearing that the world’s largest democracy is hurtling towards George Orwell’s 1984 rather than 2013.

23 August 2012

The Ministry of Communications and IT, Department of Telecommunications on Saturday directed ISPs to block 76 webpages, including 10 handles on micro-blogging site Twitter, 12 pages on video-sharing site YouTube, 14 Facebook profiles, and blogs and other pages with religion-related content.

The order cites no reasons for the block, though the department later reportedly cited “communal tensions” following unrest and violence in the border districts of Assam.

Three similar directives followed until 21 August, blocking more Twitter accounts and hundreds of webpages. [ET][Orders]

18 May 2012

Kapil Sibal looks for Internet spring clean of objectionable contentThe Information Technology (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules 2011 (The Rules) continue to breathe after the statutory motion to annul them moved by member of parliament (MP) from Kerala P Rajeeve was defeated by voice vote in the Rajya Sabha yesterday.

Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal was heard on Rajya Sabha TV saying: “We are more liberal than US and Europe but let’s not cut our arms.”

27 April 2012

Vijay SondhiLuthra & Luthra’s Delhi office won in the Supreme Court today for Indian B2C portal Ebay and its managing director Avnish Bajaj, in the case of eBay v State and Avnish Bajaj v State.

23 April 2012

Who owns the Internet? Rajya Sabha’s member of parliament (MP) from Kerala, P Rajeeve, whose statutory motion to annul the IT (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules 2011 is slated for discussion in Parliament tomorrow, aims to convene a meeting of MPs, internet societies, and bloggers in the first week of May to create awareness against the draconian effect of the rules.

06 March 2012

The internet: Not quite the Matrix A Kerala High Court writ petition by local lawyer Shojan Jacob, on Friday struck at the government’s blocking of websites and content in India under the controversial Information Technology (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules 2011.

18 January 2012

Netizens world wide ‘celebrated’ today, with websites such as Wikipedia taking their content offline as a mark of protest against the tabling of the potentially draconian US Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). Google, whose doodles usually denote a birthday or other notable day of feast, replaced its logo with a black square for US users. But what’s the fuss about? We have long had it as bad if not worse in India.

07 December 2011

Kapil Sibal looks for Internet spring clean of objectionable contentBreaking: The Bangalore-based Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) has carried out an undercover investigation into the “chilling effects” of new information technology laws on freedom of expression online, with six out of seven major websites removing innocent content online without proper investigation, creating a “private censorship regime”.

03 October 2011

image Kochhar & Co has filed police information reports (FIRs) against websites including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Sulekha, MSN and others that allegedly hosted “defamatory and objectionable material” against Congress party general secretary Digvijay Singh.

24 June 2011

Legally India newsletterThe law playing catch-up with fast-moving technology and failing is almost a cliché.

In many countries it is similarly common for law makers to try and finish the arms race with laws that leapfrog technology as well as common sense and constitutions.

21 June 2011

internet-IT-globe Kochhar & Co managing partner Rohit Kochhar has withdrawn a case against Legally India in the Cyber Regulations Appellate Tribunal on Friday, which had passed a stay order five weeks ago prohibiting Legally India from publishing any material relating to any of Kochhar’s disputes.