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In a major relief to the Internet companies locked in web censorship row, the Delhi High Court has rejected charges of hosting offensive content against Microsoft India. The HC accepted Microsoft India's plea that the company did not provide a material to users to interact with each other or post their views. The court further asked the complainant Vinay Rai to file a fresh complaint if he comes across any credible evidence against the website.
Earlier, Rai had moved the trial court against as many as 21 websites including Microsoft, Facebook, Google and YouTube for allegedly hosting offensive content. Metropolitan Magistrate Sudesh Kumar had issued summons to the companies to face the charges of hosting obscene content punishable under the IPC 292 (sale of obscene books and material) and 293 (sale of obscene objects to young person). The trial court observed that the evidences provided by the complainant contained obscene images and
offensive articles related to religious deities.
The HC had previously passed a similar ruling, dismissing criminal proceedings against Yahoo India.
Of late, Internet censorship has become a hot topic of discussion in the media. A number of people/netizens have opposed the efforts to control/monitor the Internet. The court, in one of its initial hearings, had warned of bringing in a China-like ban on the Internet. The government has already asked the Internet companies to set up a monitoring mechanism to ensure no content on the social media sites and others are offensive and hurt religious sentiments.
Read our previous coverage on the ongoing web censorship row below: