As expected, Delhi High Court has been dragged to adjudicate on the issue of the February 25th guideline on Digital Media ethical code and Intermediary guidelines.
In India Courts keep piling up cases and complain of shortage of judges but if Courts have to keep adjudicating on every administrative notice issued by the Government, then it is obvious that Courts cannot do what they are expected to do… to render justice to ordinary citizens.
No doubt there are lofty ideals quoted behind the petition. For example the petition states that ITA 2000 is not the Act under which these regulation should have been issued and there should have been a different legislation for the purpose. Well this is only a technical ploy to proliferate laws in the country. If a lawful objective can be served by an existing law then there is no reason why it should not be accommodated within the provisions of the current law instead of drafting one more law.
It is therefore an over reach by those who donot want the Government to do anything positive to try and scuttle this notification. It is true that the ITA 2000 was meant to be an E Commerce promotion Act. But the amendments of 2008 extended its scope to security of the Cyber society. The time to challenge was in 2008 and the amendments of 2008 has converted ITA 2000 into a Cyber Security act. Now it is a matter of common knowledge that Digital Media does not follow any self regulation or ethics and is a tool of spreading disharmony in the society. Hence the need to regulate the digital media is part of the Cyber Security objective and is well within the scope of the revised version of ITA 2000 as per ITA amendment act of 2008.
The Delhi High Court has presently issued a notice to the Government in admission of the petition and if a proper response is given by the Government, the petition can be dismissed in the initial stage itself.
In most of the civil litigations courts try to suggest mediation for the parties and in the present case also the aggrieved party may be advised to have a dialogue with the Government and try to find out the objectives of Governance which require such measures before the Court can spend its time.
Let’s wait and see how the Court responds at the next stage.