The Supreme Court on Friday said that people sharing their grievances on social media and the internet cannot be branded as 'wrong information', adding that any clampdown on such posts will be construed as contempt of court. The top court order comes days after a man in Uttar Pradesh was booked for desperately seeking help on social media for his grandfather.
"We want to make it very clear that if citizens communicate their grievances on social media and the internet then it cannot be said its wrong information... we don't want any clampdown of information. We will treat it as a contempt of court if such grievance is considered for action," Justice Y Chandrachud said, according to ANI.
The judge, in a strong message to all states and DGPs said that clampdown of info is contrary to basic precepts.
Recntly, microblogging platform Twitter removed 52 posts, many of them critical of the way the government was handling the second wave of coronavirus.
Among those whose tweets were removed include, Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera, member of parliament Revanth Reddy, a minister from West Bengal Moloy Ghatak, ABP News editor Pankaj Jha, actor Vineet Kumar Singh, film-maker Avinash Das and film-maker and former journalist Vinod Kapri, according to reports.
Social media has been flooded with desperate cries for oxygen, hospital beds and medicines by hospitals and patients alike. Last week, the Uttar Pradesh government, according to a report in thewire.in, asked senior administrative and police officials to 'crack down' on hospitals that discharge patients on the grounds of a shortage of oxygen or “complain” about shortages to the media.
Soon after this directive, a case was registered against an Amethi youth whose grandfather was critical and he turned to social media seeking oxygen supply.