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Government approves action against Google, others

Says there is sufficient material to proceed against 21 websites, including social networking site Facebook

The Centre yesterday gave the green signal to proceed against all the accused persons heading 21 websites, including Facebook and Google, that were allegedly hosting objectionable content. "Government is satisfied that there is sufficient material to proceed against the accused persons under several sections of the IPC," said the government report submitted to a Delhi court.


Caught in the web: Government allowed the prosecution of websites
saying the content was instigating enmity between different groups on the
basis of religion and was against national harmony. File Pic


The Department of Information Technology, in its report submitted before Metropolitan Magistrate Sudesh Kumar has granted sanction to proceed against the 21 companies mentioned in the complainant report for causing problems in national harmony, integration and national interest for allegedly promoting objectionable content.

In its report, the Department of Information Technology has also mentioned about the four meetings held with representatives of social networking sites. The ministry has drawn their attention on the objectionable and defamatory content and asked to take appropriate action.

The department allowed the prosecution of the social networking sites saying the content was instigating enmity between different groups on the ground of religion and was against national harmony.

The metropolitan magistrate on December 23 had directed the government to take immediate and appropriate steps on the objectionable content of the sites, and file its report by January 13.

Earlier in the day, the case hearing was adjourned till March 13 with a Delhi court directing the external affairs ministry to serve the summons issued to foreign-based social networking sites. "The accused are asked appear in person on the next date of hearing without fail," the magistrate said.

However, counsel for Facebook, Google India Private Limited, Yahoo India, and others appeared in the court seeking exemption on the ground that the matter is pending in the Delhi High Court. Metropolitan Magistrate Sudesh Kumar earlier summoned the accused companies to face trial for allegedly committing the offence punishable under Sections 292 (sale of obscene books etc.), 293 (sale of obscene objects to young person etc.) of the IPC.

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