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IT rules not applicable to search engines: Google

Google, Social Media, Internet, Search Engine, New IT rules

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KOLKATA: The new IT rules for digital media are not applicable to search engines, Google argued in the Delhi high court on Wednesday. It also urged the court to set aside a single judge order passed earlier in relation to the removal of 'offending content' posted on a website.

The single judge's decision, last month, had come while dealing with a case in which a woman's photographs were uploaded on a pornographic website without her consent by some miscreants. Despite court orders, the content could not be removed in its entirety over the internet, even as the offenders kept reposting it on to other sites.

The judge had "mischaracterised" its search engine as a ''social media intermediary'' or ''significant social media intermediary'', Google has contended.

"The single judge has misinterpreted and misapplied the New Rules 2021 to the appellant's search engine. Additionally, the judge has conflated various sections of the IT Act and separate rules prescribed there under, and has passed template orders combining all such offences and provisions, which is bad in law," Google said in its appeal against the judgement, reported PTI.

The Delhi high court bench comprising chief justice D.N. Patel and justice Jyoti Singh said no interim order will be passed on Google’s plea. The bench has issued notice to the central government, the Delhi government, the Internet Service Providers Association of India, Facebook, the pornographic site and the woman, on whose plea the single judge's ruling was delivered, to submit their responses on the issue by 25 July.

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