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No Ban on WhatsApp, Facebook Despite Sharing Rape Videos, Running Sex Racket

SC asked Centre to examine prosecution of sites like Facebook, WhatsApp for use of such platforms in circulating explicit and scandalous content.

Published: 05th December 2015 09:17 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th December 2015 10:48 AM   |  A+A-

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The Apex court has asked the Centre to examine the prosecution of Social Networking sites like Facebook, WhatsApp for use of such platforms in circulating explicit and scandalous content.

The Social justice bench comprising of Madan B Lokur and U U Lalit turned down  a plea to block the platforms. However, Centre was asked by the SC to look into the issue after two cases were brought to it's notice in which people were booked for circulating rape videos through WhatsApp and in another case running a sex racket for pedophiles via Facebook but no action was taken against the social networking sites.

Earlier Centre informed the Apex judicial body that it was difficult to identify the people who uploaded sex videos through mobile phones and shared it through WhatsApp. It also said that the offenders could be easily tracked if  a computer was used to upload such material.

The Government expressed it's inability to keep a check on material shared through WhatsApp and Facebook following which a Hyderabad-based NGO, Prajwala, told the bench, action should also be taken against the sites and block them.

The NGO's Head, Sunitha, asked the judicial body to direct the government to put in place a mechanism to regulate sites and check the contents being shared.

The bench in response said, blocking these platforms would not serve as a suitable solution.

"You are now asking blocking of sites. You may later on ask for banning mobile phones. Its not a solution and it cannot be done," the bench said.

"Let the government first respond to the issue and then we will consider," the bench added.

It asked Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh to look into the issue why the respective networking sites were not booked by the State Police.

Taking into consideration Prajwala's letter to the Chief Justice of India pointing out nine rape videos being circulated through WhatsApp, the bench directed a CBI probe into all those cases.



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