Sunday, April 15, 2012

Snippet: Delhi High Court Applies Information Technology Intermediary Guidelines

In a decision delivered on March 30, 2012, the Delhi High Court invoked Rule 3 of the Information Technology (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules, 2011 in a suit for defamation filed by spiritual teacher Nirmaljit Singh Narula, also known as “Nirmal Baba” against a website, and one of its anonymous writers/”hubbers”. 

Reportedly, an article was written by the anonymous hubber on the site against Nirmal Baba titled “Is Nirmal Baba a Fraud?” Despite being served by a legal notice, Hubpages did not remove the allegedly defamatory content, which the Court held as being violative of the Intermediary Rules.

Besides issuing a temporary injunction against the website and the hubber, the Court directed that the Registry wherein the website is registered, shall block access to the site if the site did not take down the allegedly defamatory content within 36 hours of the order being passed. The Court further ordered the website to disclose the identity of the anonymous hubber.

In my limited knowledge, this appears to be one of the few cases where the Intermediary Rules have been applied by a Court since their notification last year.

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