Govt Withdraws Notice to Manipur Scribe Issued Under New IT Rules 

Paojel Chaoba was the first to receive a notice from the state government under Centre’s new digital media rules.

2 min read
Imphal-based journalist Paojel Chaoba is the first to receive a notice from the state government under the Centre’s new digital media rules.

A journalist based in Manipur, Paojel Chaoba, received a notification from the state government under the newly framed Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 over an online discussion that was conducted and uploaded on the Facebook page of his organisation, The Frontier Manipur (TFM).

However, according to The News Minute, on Tuesday evening, another notice informed the journalist that the notice under the new IT rules against him "stands withdrawn with immediate effect".


The first such notice from the government under the new IT rules, demanded that Chaoba and his organisation produce relevant documents, to show that it is complying with the new rules. The notification said that if the documents fail to comply with the guidelines, "steps as deemed fit shall be initiated without further notice”.


According to a report by The Wire, the notice had been issued on 1 March by the district magistrate of Imphal West, Naorem Praveen Singh and was delivered to Chaoba by a large number of policemen.

The online discussion for which this notice has been issued incidentally talked about the new IT rules and was uploaded on Facebook on 28 February, reported The News Minute.

The discussion was titled ‘Media Under Siege: Are Journalists Walking A Tight Rope.’ The panellists were Paojel Chaoba, who is the Executive Editor of TFM, Grace Jajo, an independent journalist, and Ninglun Hanghal, who is a columnist and freelance journalist. The event was hosted by Kishorchandra Wangkhemcha, who is the Associate Editor of TFM.

The notice, addressed to ‘Publisher/Intermediary, Khanasi Neinasi,’ seems to have been sent under Chapter V of the new rules, as per TNM.

Announcing drastic changes in the new rules for social media companies and a code of ethics for OTT streaming platforms as well as digital news media, Union Ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad and Prakash Javadekar, on Thursday, 25 February said they “are empowering the ordinary users of social media”.

The 30-page document, titled ‘Information Technology (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021’, places a host of strict obligations on online platforms and provides for a three-tier mechanism for regulation of all online media, which confers blocking powers to an inter-ministerial committee.

(With inputs from The News Minute and The Wire.)

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