Case BriefsCOVID 19High Courts

Bombay High Court: R.K. Deshpande, J. addressed a Public Interest Litigation challenging the order passed by Deputy Commissioner of Police under Section 144 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 with regard to prohibition of dissemination of information through social media platforms to protect people from false news.

The complaint pertains to prohibition of persons disseminating the information through messages, social media platforms like WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook, Tik Tok, Instagram, etc. Object of issuing the order seems to genuinely protect the persons from false and incorrect information being provided in respect of COVID 19 disease, which is spread all over.

The said mater was presented by Sandeep Parikh, Advocate for the petitioner and P.H. Kantharia, Government Pleader, Kedar Dighe, AGP, for respondent-State.

Bench did not find the said matter to be urgent in nature and thus asked the same to be put up in regular course. [Pankaj Rajmachikar v. State of Maharashtra, PIL (Lodging) No. 24 of 2020, decided on 15-04-2020]

COVID 19Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court, while hearing to a writ petition, took serious note of the panic created by Fake News leading to mass movement of migrant labourers. This has lead to untold suffering to these people, the Court observed.

Following up on the Court’s observations, Secretary, Union Ministry for Home Affairs (MHA), Ajay Kumar Bhalla has written to all States/UTs to take effective measures to fight Fake News.

It has been communicated that the Government of India is creating a web-portal for people to verify facts and unverified news promptly. States/UTs have been requested to create a similar mechanism at their level for issues relating to them.

The Apex Court has also made observations and directions to ensure provision of basic amenities such as food, medicines etc. in line with NDMA/MHA directives and other welfare activities in relief shelters for migrant labourers. The States/UTs have been communicated to comply with the Directives/Advisories/Orders issued by Central Government in letter and spirit, for containment of spread of COVID-19 in the country.

Click here to see Communication to States/UTs

Ministry of Home Affairs

[Press Release dt. 02-04-2020]

[Source: PIB]

Hot Off The PressNews

Singapore Parliament passed a bill against “fake news” — Protection From Online Flasehoods and Manipulation Act, 2019 which would force media to correct or remove content the government considers to be false.

The stated Act will require online media platforms to carry corrections or remove content the government considers to be false, with penalties for perpetrators including prison terms of up to 10 years or fines up to S$1m ($735,000).

The Bill was introduced on 01-04-2019 and passed on 08-05-2019.

“The said Act would prevent electronic communication in Singapore of false statements of fact, to suppress support for counteract the effects of such communication, to safeguard against the use of online accounts for such communication and for information manipulation, to enable measures to be taken to enhance the transparency of online political advertisements, and for related matters.”

*Please follow the link for detailed Act: Protection From Online Flasehoods and Manipulation Act, 2019