The Kerala High Court today sided with the News Broadcasters Association (NBA) and ordered that no coercive action should be taken for not following the new IT Rules for now.
The NBA has challenged the IT Rules on grounds that they give government authorities “excessive powers” to “unreasonably and impermissibly restrict” the freedom of speech and expression of the media.
In a statement, the NBA said the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines & Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, violate Article 14 of the Constitution on equality before law and Article 19 on the right to freedom to practise any profession or to carry on any occupation, trade or business.
The petition says the new Rules create an “oversight mechanism giving the executive unfettered, unbridled and excessive powers to regulate content of digital news media”.
“The grievance redressal mechanism created and the powers delegated have a ”chilling effect” on the content of the media. The writ (petition) also states that the executive by creating such a structure, has made inroads into judicial power and vested itself with powers reserved exclusively for the judiciary and such exercise of power is without jurisdiction,” the NBA statement said.