Search Engines to constitute ‘In-house Expert Body’ to delete ‘Gender selection’ related searches

Supreme Court: The Bench of Dipak Misra and R. Banumathi, JJ directed Google India, Yahoo! India and Microsoft Corporation (I) Pvt. to constitute an “In-House Expert Body” which shall take steps to see that if any words or any key words that can be shown in the internet which has the potentiality to go counter to Section 22 of the Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994, should be deleted forthwith.

The Court further said that the Expert Body shall on its own understanding delete anything that violates the letter and spirit of language of Section 22 of the 1994 Act and, in case there is any doubt, they can seek suggestions from the Nodal Agency appointed by the Union of India. On 19.09.2016, the Court had directed Google India, Yahoo! India and Microsoft Corporation (I) Pvt. Ltd. to develop a technique so that, the moment any advertisement or search is introduced into the system, that will not be projected or seen by adopting the method of “auto block”. Shri Ranjit Singh, Solicitor General had produced a “proposed list of words” like ‘gender selection’, ‘prenatal sex selection’, ‘baby gender selection’, etc., in respect of which when commands are given, there will be “auto block” with a warning and nothing would be reflected in the internet, as it is prohibited in India. [Sabu Mathew George v. Union of India, 2017 SCC OnLine SC 136, order dated 16.02.2017]

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