New IT Rules are not applicable to its Search Engine: Google

Information Technology rules for digital media are not applicable to Google’s search engine as contended by Google. On Wednesday, Google has urged the Delhi High Court to set aside a single judge order that applied the rules on the company while also dealing with an issue related to the removal of offending content from the internet.

While dealing with a matter in which a woman’s photographs were uploaded on a pornographic website by some miscreants and despite court orders the content could not be removed in entirety from the World Wide Web, came the single judge’s decision.

A notice was issued to the Centre, Delhi government, Internet Service Providers Association of India, Facebook, the pornographic site, and the woman by a bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh. The woman on whose plea the single judge’s ruling had come, asked for the responses of the notified ones to Google’s plea by July 25. The court also added that it was not going to issue any interim order at this stage on this case.

Google has contended that in the April 20 judgement, the single judge, “mischaracterised” its search engine as a ‘social media intermediary’ or ‘significant social media intermediary’ as provided under the new rules.

In an appeal against the April 20 judgement, the court said, “The single judge has misinterpreted and misapplied the New Rules 2021 to the appellant’s search engine. Additionally, the single judge has conflated various sections of the IT Act and separate rules prescribed thereunder, and has passed template orders combining all such offences and provisions, which is bad in law.”

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