Ground Report | New Delhi: New IT rules challenged; The News Broadcasters Association (NBA) filed a petition against the new IT rules in the Kerala High Court on 8 July. Many large private television news channels including India TV and Times Now are part of the NBA. The new IT rules were introduced in February this year.
New IT rules challenged
The NBA’s petition challenges Part III of the IT Rules. This part deals with the Code of Ethics and Procedures and Safeguards in relation to digital media. According to news agency PTI, the NBA believes that this will give the authorities autocratic, independent, and excessive power to regulate the content of digital news media.
‘In the petition, the NBA has said that the new rules go beyond India’s Information Technology Act and violate Articles 14 (equality before law) and 19(1) (right to choose or practice any profession) of the Constitution.
The petition says that there is no provision in the IT Act regarding ‘management’ of the content of any program and hence the new rules are in violation of the patent law itself.
According to PTI, the NBA said the new rules would give the government “extreme power” to “unnecessarily limit” the media’s freedom of speech and expression. News broadcasters such as CNBC TV 18, NDTV 24×7, and BBC World are also part of the NBA.
PTI also challenged in Delhi High
The NBA’s petition comes a day after PTI challenged the new IT rules in the Delhi High Court. PTI has also challenged the rules on almost the same grounds.
In its petition filed in the Delhi High Court, PTI has said that the new rules will allow the government to “dictate the content of digital news portals and infringe on the freedom of the media”.According to the Forbes report, PTI said that the code of ethics is ‘rigorous’ and the rules will ‘push into an era of surveillance and fear’
The Digital News Publishers Association (DNPA), a group of 13 big news media companies of the country, also challenged the constitutional validity of the new IT rules on 23 June.