The Madras High Court recently declined to entertain a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) that sought directions to the Central government to control and monitor content broadcast on social media (S Umamaheswaran v Union of India and ors).
A Bench Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice R Hemalatha said that that the petition raised issued issues in the realm of State policy while also observing that it is open to the petitioner to live in stone age.
“It is open to the petitioner to live in the stone age or to protect his family or his children from the advances of technology. Though specific complaints may be entertained, Courts are not there to impose sanctions or guidelines on how the media or even social media operates and it is for the other agencies to do so, based on the policy decision taken by the legislature of the day or the executive arm,” the Court observed.
The Court added that it is open to the petitioner to approach the concerned State authorities on the issue. However, the Court cannot be expected to impose conditions as desired by the petitioner, the judges opined.
“It will be open to the petitioner to propagate the kind of philosophy that the petitioner seeks to espouse and the rights of choice that are constitutionally guaranteed will not stand in the way. The petitioner may approach the appropriate legislature or executive to effectuate the petitioner’s ideas; the Courts cannot impose the conditions as the petitioner desires”, stated the order.