Delhi HC Refuses to Stay New IT Rules regulating Digital News Media

Shivangi Prakash-

On the petition filed by the Quint and The Wire for action against them for non-compliance with the Information Technology (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, the Delhi High Court vacation division bench comprising of Justices C Hari Shankar and Subramonium Prasad said it was prima facie not inclined to grant any interim relief.

The court said it would renotify their application for interim relief for hearing by the roster bench because the matter is pending before the regular division bench and no stay has been granted there.

The Delhi High Court rejected to stay the new Information Technology rules aimed at regulating digital news media on Monday, stating that it was not in agreement with the petitioners on making such an order at this stage.

The Foundation for Independent Journalism, The Wire, Quint Digital Media Ltd, and Pravda Media Foundation, the parent company of Alt News, requested a stay on the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, claiming that they had received a new notice to comply with the rules or face coercion.

The bench, refusing any stay on implementation of the notification regarding the IT Rules, said, “The matter is pending before the regular division bench, no stay was granted. They are only implementing the notification on which there is no stay. There is no question of interim relief.”

The court also said, “We are not in agreement with you. If you want we will pass a reasoned detailed order or if you want we can renotify it before the roster bench. You take instructions and let us know.”

After receiving directions, senior counsel Nitya Ramakrishnan, who represents the petitioners, requested the court to place the case on the reopening of courts after the holidays.

The court scheduled the applications for stay before the roster bench on July 7.

Meanwhile, the court has issued notice and asked the Centre to respond to a new suit filed by Pravda Media Foundation contesting the legality of the IT Rules.

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