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Sexual Abuse Videos: SC Slaps Rs 1 Lakh Fine on Google, FB, Others

The order was issued by a bench comprising of Justices Madan B Lokur and U U Lalit.

Published
India
2 min read
File photo of the Supreme Court. 
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The Supreme Court on Monday, 21 May, imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh each on Internet giants Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Microsoft and WhatsApp for failing to file their replies on the steps taken by them to block videos of sexual offences on social sites.

The order was issued by a bench comprising of Justices Madan B Lokur and U U Lalit.

A report by Bar & Bench quoted the bench as saying, “In our order dated 16.04.2018, we had required the parties before us i.e. Yahoo, Facebook Ireland, Facebook India, Google India, Google Inc., Microsoft and WhatsApp to let us know the status of progress made pursuant to the recommendations accepted by these entities as mentioned in the Report of the Committee”.

None of these entities has filed anything to show us the progress nor any of these entities is ready with any response pursuant to our aforesaid order.
SC bench

The Bar & Bench report adds that the companies will have to file the affidavit of status reports with the court registry, on or before 15 June.

The statement put out by the bench added, “The Registry will accept the affidavit filed by these entities along with costs of Rs 1 lac each which will be kept in a fixed deposit for a short-term period immediately upon receipt”.

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Saying that a lot of work was left to be done, in terms of the state’s progress in the matter, the court added that certain state measures, including the launch of the Online Cyber Crime reporting portal, should be expedited so they are launched by Saturday, 30 June.

In our opinion, more than sufficient time has been taken by the Ministry of Home Affairs to complete these tasks and to complete other tasks. However, time is granted to the Ministry of Home Affairs to complete the tasks on or before 30th June 2018.
SC bench

It also directed the Centre to have a web portal ready by Monday, 21 May, to enable citizens lodge complaints on child sexual abuse, child pornography and gang rape videos.

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The matter will next be taken up on Monday, 2 July, the report says. In March last year, the court had devised a committee to “assist and advise” it on ensuring that videos depicting gang rape, child pornography and rape are not available online.

The court was hearing the matter following a letter sent in 2015 to the then Chief Justice of India H L Dattu by Hyderabad-based NGO Prajwala, along with two rape videos in a pen-drive. The court had on its own taken cognisance of the letter and asked the CBI to launch a probe to apprehend the culprits.

(With inputs from PTI and Bar & Bench)

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