Days after a civil court asked various websites to remove objectionable content, a Delhi court Friday issued summons to 21 websites and social networking sites including Facebook, Google, Yahoo and YouTube for allegedly hosting obscene and derogatory content.

Taking cognizance of the case on a private criminal complaint filed by journalist Vinay Rai, Metropolitan Magistrate Sudesh Kumar observed that the material submitted by the complainant contained obscene picture and derogatory articles pertaining to various Hindu gods, Prophet Mohammad and Jesus Christ.

The magistrate directed the central government to take immediate appropriate step on the objectionable contents of the sites, and file its report by Jan 13.

"It appears from a bare perusal of the documents that prima facie the accused are selling, publicly exhibiting and have put into circulation obscene, lascivious content which also appears to the prurient interests and tends to deprave and corrupt the persons who are likely to read, see or hear the same," the court said.

"It is also evident that such contents are continuously openly and freely available to everyone who is using the said network irrespective of their age and even the persons under the age of 18 years have full and uncensored access to such obscene contents," it said.

The magistrate has summoned the accused companies to face trial for allegedly committing the offence punishable under section 292 (sale of obscene books etc), 293 (sale of obscene objects to young person etc) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

On Monday, a civil court of Delhi had ordered these sites to remove objectionable images.