Delhi HC issues notice to the government for blocking satirical Dowry Calculator website

On Tuesday, the Delhi High Court issued notice to MeitY, DoT and Ministry of WCD for blocking the satirical Dowry Calculator website without complying with the provisions of Section 69A of the IT Act and the Blocking Rules made thereunder. The government has been granted four weeks to file its reply and the next date of hearing in the case is 2 March 2020. In September 2018, the satirical website was blocked by our outrage driven government machinery after a prominent politician demanded its blocking on Twitter. The blocking was in complete contravention of statutorily prescribed procedure and there was no notice or hearing granted to the website’s creator, Tanul Thakur. When Tanul tried to get a copy of the blocking order by filing an RTI application, MeitY refused to even provide that by citing the confidentiality requirement present under Rule 16 of the Blocking Rules. Therefore, the petition seeks unblocking of Dowry Calculator and a declaration that Rule 16 is unconstitutional in so far as it applies to owners, creators, developers and curators of  blocked content.

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