The Madras High Court on Thursday ordered notice to the Centre on a writ petition filed by Carnatic musician TM Krishna seeking a direction to declare the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules of 2021 as ultra vires to both the Constitution of India and the IT Act 2000.
Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy directed the petitioner’s counsel Suhrith Parthasarathy to serve the papers on Additional Solicitor General R. Sankaranarayanan to enable the Centre to file its counter affidavit within three weeks.
“For me, privacy, like music itself, is an experience. When I think of privacy, I think of life, intimacy, experience, discovery, security, happiness, the lack of fear and the freedom to create. I think of liberty, dignity, and choice, as facets inherent in me not just as an artist but as a human being,” Krishna said in the affidavit. “Our Constitution contains a commitment to the liberty of imagination. Censorship sans reason offends this commitment. It is in furtherance of my fights for freedom of expression and privacy that I am filing the present writ petition,” he said.
“I submit that the Impugned Rules offend my rights as an artist and cultural commentator by both imposing a chilling effect on free speech, and by impinging on my right to privacy. Part II of the Impugned Rales violate my rights as a user of social media services, while Part III of the same Impugned Rules are in breach of my rights as a creator of online Content. The challenge made to the Impugned Rules in this writ petition is predicated at two levels: it is my contention that the rules are in breach of my fundamental rights under Part Ill of the Constitution and that the rules are also ultra vires its parent statute, that is the IT 2000,” the affidavit said.
The case would be heard next after four weeks, the judges said. TheHinduBusinessLine