The plea filed by law students Skand Bajpai and Abhyudaya Mishra suggested development of profile verification to remove unlawful content from the social media platforms. A bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde and comprising Justices A.S. Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian, after a brief hearing in the matter, agreed to examine the plea filed by the students from Bharati Vidyapeeth Deemed University in Pune. The top court said: “Permission to appear and argue in person is granted. Issue notice.”
The plea sought action against social media accounts, which are responsible for online trade of unlawful content – online harassment videos and promoting obscene content. The plea also sought a framework for removal of illicit content and keeping an effective watch that such content is not uploaded in future.
The top court sought a response from the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information and Technology and Law and Justice beside others, on the petition. Citing the menace of revenge porn, the plea urged the top court to enact gender-neutral laws, and also criminalise impersonation. The petitioners cited that they had sent a complaint to the government on this in June this year, and the lack of satisfactory response prompted them to move the top court. The plea sought legal proceedings against those users of social media who are connected with procurement and advertising of the illicit content.
The plea cited the menace of fake accounts which serve as a platform for anonymity and impersonation. The petitioners sought a direction for effective guidelines for verifying the social media accounts and include online safety in the education system.