Tl;drOn April 6, 2023, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) notified the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Amendment Rules, 2023 (IT Amendment Rules, 2023). Among several provisions related to online gaming, it also contains a provision empowering a “fact check unit of the Central Government” to declare any content on the internet relating to “any business of the Central Government” as “fake or false or misleading” and order it to be taken down from the internet. Mr. Kunal Kamra, a political satirist and standup artist, filed a writ petition before the Bombay High Court challenging the constitutional validity of this provision of the IT Rules Amendment, 2023 for being ultra vires the Information Technology Act, 2000 (IT Act, 2000), and violating the right to freedom of speech and expression and the right to practice one’s trade and profession. The Bombay High Court has directed MeitY to file its response within one week on why the IT Amendment Rules, 2023 should not be stayed, and also describe the factual background that necessitated the issuance of the amendments.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://internetfreedom.in/bombay-hc-issues-notice-on-petition-challenging-the-constitutional-validity-of-it-amendment-rules-2023/