New Delhi: The Supreme Court has expressed concern over incidents of mob killings in India triggered by messages spread through social media and said it appears that no one is “bothered”.
A bench of justices Madan B Lokur and UU Lalit observed this when it was hearing a related to blocking of videos of sexual offences on social sites on Friday.
“So many things are coming now a days on social media. People are getting lynched but no one seems to be bothered,” the bench observed.
On July 17, another bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra had said that “horrendous acts of mobocracy” cannot be allowed to overrun the law of the land and had asked the Parliament to consider enacting a new law to sternly deal with mob lynching and cow vigilantism.
During the hearing, the counsel representing internet search engines and social networking applications – Google, Yahoo India Pvt Ltd, Microsoft Corporation (India) Pvt Ltd, Facebook Ireland Ltd and Whatsapp Inc – informed the court that they had filed their reports on status of progress made by them in the matter.
The counsel appearing for the petitioners claimed before the bench that the Centre was not complying with the Supreme Court’s directions passed in the matter.
“It is the Union of India which has to comply with the law and the order of this court. People of India expects this at least from the Union of India,” the bench observed and posted the matter for further hearing in fourth week of August.
The court was earlier informed that the Centre had identified keywords for child pornography, rape and gang rape content search and a list of keywords in English language has been compiled and circulated to content providers for further action.
The court was hearing the matter following a letter sent in 2015 to then the 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.
Earlier, cyber security officials, functioning under the CBI, had told the bench that Internet was a “wild highway” and blocking objectionable content at the source was a technical challenge for which clear guidelines needed to be issued to stop circulation of such material.
The NGO’s letter had also mooted the idea of maintaining a national sex offender’s register which should contain details of persons convicted for offences like eve-teasing, stalking, molestation and other sexual assaults.