Uttarakhand High Court orders strict implementation of ban on porn sites

The Uttarakhand High Court has taken Suo Motu cognisance of a recent gang rape of a school student in Dehradun by her fellow students and ordered strict implementation of the ban on websites offering pornographic content. According to reports, the HC has asked the centre to cancel the licenses of websites that offer obscene content.

A division bench of the HC reportedly cited an earlier notification and asked the central government to issue strict orders to internet service license holders to ‘punctually’ obey the orders to block transmission of pornographic and obscene content.

Recently, a class-10 schoolgirl was gang-raped in a school in Dehradun by her seniors after they allegedly watched pornographic videos and called her to a storage room under some false pretext. The case had generated massive outrage after the school was accused of withholding information regarding the crime and violating several rules. CBSE has reportedly cancelled the school’s affiliation. Five school officials, apart from the four rape accused students have been arrested for attempting a cover-up and threatening the victim.

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Taking cognisance of the case the Uttarakhand HC division bench comprising of acting chief justice Rajiv Sharma and justice Manoj Tiwari observed that unlimited access to pornographic websites should be blocked or curbed to avoid adverse influence over the impressionable minds of youngsters.

The bench has also instructed website service providers to block the transmission of pornographic content in any electronic form. In 2015, the ministry of communications and IT, the department of telecommunications and the central government had issued an order that restrained service license holders from transmitting pornographic content. The section 25 of the Information Technology Act states that the service license holders who violate the orders are liable to lose their license.

The 2015 notification had listed over 800 websites and had asked service providers to block them as their contents were found to be pornographic in nature.

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