Delhi HC issues notice on TV Today Network’s plea against IT Rules

The Delhi High Court has issued a notice on a plea filed by media conglomerate TV Today Network, which challenged the constitutional validity of Rule 3(1)(c) of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.

The court has served the notice to all the relevant parties, including the Union of India, and directed them to respond by May 17.

The rule in question mandates intermediaries to periodically inform the users about their rights and the consequences of non-compliance with the rules and regulations.

TV Today Network argued that this rule infringes upon the constitutional provisions as it sought its alignment with the existing laws and constitutional articles.

A division bench of Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Manmeet Pritam Singh Arora issued notice on the plea.

TV Today Network asserted its grievance over the suspension of its Instagram account for Harper’s Bazaar India due to third-party copyright complaints.

“The petitioners are aggrieved by suspension of petitioner No. 1’s Instagram account created for its magazine Harper’s Bazaar India i.e.,’@bazaarindia’ based on third-party copyright complaints,” the court noted.

The network’s counsel argued that the suspension violates constitutional rights under Articles 14 and 19, and claimed fair use under Section 52 of the Copyright Act for the flagged content. However, the court stated that it cannot intervene until Instagram authorities were present before it.

TV Today Network also pledged to appeal before the Grievance Appellate Committee as per the IT Rules.

The bench ordered the committee to expedite the decision, preferably within two weeks, if an appeal is filed. The matter is scheduled for the next hearing on May 17.

“At this stage, the learned counsel for the petitioner states that the petitioner would file an appeal before the Grievance Appellate Committee as provided for under Rule 3A of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021,” the bench noted.

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The network contended that the suspension lacked proper safeguards as per Rules 4(8) and 3(1)(b) of the IT Rules for identifying unlawful or infringing content.

“The learned counsel for the petitioners contends that impugned action has been undertaken without following any safeguards as provided for the takedown under Rule 4(8) of unlawful/infringing content specifically identified to be unlawful or infringing under Rule 3(1)(b) of the IT Rules,” the court noted. (IANS)

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