Taking jibe at the fake news and propaganda being circulated on the various social media platforms and digital media, a three-judge Bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice NV Ramanna said that several things are written against judges and institutions without any accountability.
The Bench was hearing a batch of petitions including the one filed by Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind seeking directions to the Centre to stop dissemination of "fake news" related to a religious gathering at the Markaz Nizamuddin and take strict action against those responsible for it.
"Everything shown in a section of private news channels bears a communal tone. Ultimately, this country is going to get a bad name. Did you ever attempt to regulate these private channels," asked the Bench. Social media only listens to "the powerful voices" and several things are written against judges, institutions without any accountability, said the bench which also comprised Justices Surya Kant and AS Bopanna.
"They only worry about powerful men and not judges, institutions or common man. That is what we have seen. This is our experience", the Bench observed.
The Bench also observed that "There is no control over fake news and slandering in web portals and YouTube channels. If you go to YouTube, you will find how fake news is freely circulated and anyone can start a channel on YouTube."
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, said, "Not only communal but also planted news" is being published and the IT Rules have been framed to regulate content online, including web portals.
The Apex Court agreed to hear after six weeks the Centre's plea seeking transfer of petitions from various High Courts to itself which relate to the 2021 IT rules.
With inputs from PTI