The Delhi High Court warned social networking site Facebook India and search engine Google India that websites can be ‘blocked’ like in China if they fail to devise a mechanism to check and remove objectionable material from their web pages. ‘Like China, we will block all such websites,’ Justice Suresh Kait said while asking counsel for Facebook and Google India to develop a mechanism to keep a check and remove “offensive and objectionable” material from their web pages.
Justice Kait, who did not stay the proceedings against the two websites before magistrate’s court, however agreed with the plea of lawyers that they would not press for an effective hearing in the trial court tomorrow.
Former Additional Solicitor General Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Google India, said the postings of “obscene, objectionable and defamatory” articles and other things cannot be “filtered” or “monitored”.
“No human interference is possible, and moreover, it can’t be feasible to check such incidents. Billions of people across the globe, post their articles on the website. Yes, they may be defamatory, obscene but cannot be checked,” he said.
Rohatgi tried to distinguish between Google India and its US-based holding company Google Inc.
“The US-based Google Inc is the service provider and not me (Google India) and hence, we are not liable for the action of my holding company. Moreover, it is criminal case where a vicarious liability can be fastened on a company which has no role, whatsoever, in the alleged offence.”