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New IT Rules Finalized Post Broad Consultations, Says UN

Monday, 21 June 2021, 04:09 Hrs

According to the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations in Geneva, India's new IT Rules are intended to empower regular users of social media and provide victims of abuse on social media platforms with a forum to air their issues.

This follows concerns raised by Special Procedures Branch of the Human Rights Council regarding India’s Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.

The Mission informed that the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and Ministry of Information and Broadcasting undertook broad consultations in 2018 with various stakeholders, including individuals, civil society, industry association and organizations and invited public comments to prepare the draft Rules.

It said, thereafter an inter-ministerial meeting had discussed in detail the comments received in detail and, accordingly, India's intermediary guidelines were finalized.

“The Permanent Mission of India would also like to highlight that India's democratic credentials are well recognized. The right to freedom of speech and expression is guaranteed under the Indian Constitution. The independent judiciary and a robust media are part of India's democratic structure,” it said.

The enactment of new IT Rules had become necessary due to widespread concerns about issues relating to increased instances of abuse of social media and digital platforms, including inducement for recruitment of terrorists, circulation of obscene content, spread of disharmony, financial frauds, incitement of violence and public order, it said.

“The Permanent Mission of India to the Office of the United Nations and other International Organizations in Geneva avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the Special Procedures Branch of the Human Rights Council the assurances of its highest consideration,” it added.