In yet another blow to 21 social networking sites including Facebook, Microsoft, Google, Yahoo and Youtube, a Delhi court today issued summons to them for facing trial for allegedly webcasting objectionable contents.Metropolitan Magistrate (MM) Sudesh Kumar took cognizance on a private criminal complaint and has directed the Centre for taking “immediate appropriate steps” and also file a report in the court by January 13.
The court’s order came three days after another court in a civil case had restrained these sites including Facebook, Google and Youtube from webcasting any “anti-religious” or “anti-social” content promoting hatred or communal disharmony.
In the fresh case, the court said, “it appears from a bare perusal of the documents that prima facie the accused in connivance with each other and other unknown persons are selling, publicly exhibiting and have put into circulation obscene, lascivious content which also appears to the prurient interests and tends to deprave and corrupt the persons who are likely to read, see or hear the same.”
“It is also evident that such contents are continuously openly and freely available to everyone who is using the said network irrespective of their age and even the persons under the age of 18 years have full and uncensored access to such obscene contents,” the court said.
The MM has summoned the accused companies to face trial for allegedly committing the offence punishable under section 292 (sale of obscene books etc), 293 (sale of obscene objects to young person etc) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC.
The Magiastrate noted that in the website material submitted by the complainant, Vinay Rai, a journalist, contained obscene picture and derogatory articles pertaining to Prophet Mohammad, Jesus Christ and various Hindu Gods and Godesses.