New Delhi, Mar 9 (ILNS) The Delhi High Court today sought response from the Centre over a petition challenging the new rules made by the government under the Information Technology (Guidelines for intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 to regulate intermediaries Over-The-Top(OTT) platforms and digital media.
A Division Bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jasmeet Singh issued notice to the Centre on the petition filed by the Foundation of Independent Journalism, a trust which owns The Wire.
Appearing for the petitioners, senior advocate Nitya Ramakrishnan argued that the rules filed by the centre on February 25 were contrary to the Centre’s affidavit in the Supreme Court in the Google Case.
The senior counsel also argued that the new rules were far beyond anything that was permissible in a democracy. The petition challenged the said rules, alleging the same to be “ultra vires”.”The petitioners bring out the wholly digital news and current affairs publications and are, therefore, directly affected by this overreach by way of subordinate legislation,” said the PIL.
“The petitioners’ digital news portals publish news and views, which are distinct from curated content. The present petition challenges the IT Rules, 2021 only in so far as they affect digital news portals, and is not with reference to ‘publishers of online curated content,’ that is the OTT media platforms or any other entities sought to be regulated by the new Rules,” it added.
“It is well-settled in law that there is no unlimited right of delegation, and that subordinate legislation cannot go beyond the object and the scope of the parent Act. Any Rule or Regulation made in exercise of delegated power has to be in consonance with the parent Act, and if such Rule or Regulation goes beyond what the parent Act contemplates, then the parent Act, becomes ultra vires,” the plea filed through Advocate Prasanna S stated. ILNS/ANB/JR/SNG