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Abuse of Social Media Platforms Comes Under SC Scanner

The bench said that there was misuse of social media platforms and people disseminated wrong information

Published
India
2 min read
Supreme Court. (Photo: Reuters)

Uncharitable comments, trolls, and aggressive reactions on social media platforms on almost every issue, including judges and judicial proceedings, came under the scanner of the Supreme Court on Thursday, which expressed concern over it and agreed that regulating them was necessary.

The apex court also disapproved and expressed anguish over a statement made by a senior advocate and former Supreme Court Bar Association President that most of the judges are pro-government.

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"They should sit in the Supreme Court to see how the government is hauled up," a bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud observed.

The concern of the bench found strong support from two eminent lawyers, Fali S Nariman and Harish Salve, who are assisting the apex court in a matter relating to the comment made by former UP Minister Azam Khan in a highway gangrape case.

“I have deleted my Twitter account. It was so abusive,” Salve said, adding that once when he was appearing in a case relating to a Christian medical college, the subsequent happenings on his Twitter handle forced him to delete it.

"I have stopped looking at them," Nariman said, adding that unwarranted comments about almost everything can be found on these platforms.

The bench then said that one of the observations made during the hearing on the Rohingya matters was projected as if an order was delivered, and it became a subject matter of debate.

Anything that disrupts free exchange of views between the judges and the arguing lawyers needs to be curbed, Salve said.

The bench also said that there was misuse of social media platforms, and people disseminated wrong information even about the court proceedings.

Earlier, the right to privacy could have been infringed by the state only. Now such things emanate from private parties also.

Pointing out that a newspaper or a media organisation which gets an audio clip, publishes it without taking any responsibility of its authenticity, Salve asked: "Does it not amount to infringement of privacy".

The concept of "my house is my castle" is fast fading due to the intrusion of private players, the bench said.

Nariman then said the Indian civil laws were "defective" and unable to handle such incidents.

There was an urgent need to have some kind of regulation.
Harish Salve

Meanwhile, the top court referred to a constitution bench questions like whether a public functionary or a minister can claim freedom of speech while airing views in a sensitive matter which is under investigation.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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