Delhi HC says vulgar language on social media needs to be taken seriously


Drafting rules and guidelines to regulate content on social media and OTT platforms needs urgent attention Delhi Supreme Court has said, underlining the need to take seriously the use of vulgar language in the public domain and on social media platforms open to children at a young age.

The Supreme Court came down heavily on the language used in the TVF web series ‘College Romance’ saying that the use of foul language obscenities degrades women so they can feel victimized as the expletives and obscenities refer to women as objects of sex.

“This court believes that the use of vulgar language, including profanity and swear words in the public domain and on social media platforms open to children of a young age, should be taken seriously.

“The use of obscene words and foul language on social media platforms should be regulated when it exceeds a certain limit as it can pose a real threat to impressionable minds and cannot be given constitutional protection of freedom of expression,” said Judge Swarana Kanta Sharma in a 41-page verdict.

The judge said that while in schools, offices etc., students and workers can be punished for using profane language, authorities must also “regulate profanity that enters the realm of indecent language through a broadcast medium”.

Also Read: Five dead, four injured as car plows into group of migrant workers in Himachal Pradesh

The Supreme Court verdict came as it upheld an order from the Extra Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) asking Delhi Police to register an FIR against TVF, the show’s director Simarpreet Singh and actor Apoorva Arora under the Information Technology Act.

It clarified that the instruction to register FIR does not include an instruction to arrest any of the defendants or petitioners.

The court said the challenge faced by India, like many other countries, to enact appropriate laws, guidelines and rules to regulate content on social media and OTT platforms needs urgent attention.

“This court draws the attention of the Ministry of Information and Technology to the situations that rapidly arise on a daily basis and to take steps to enforce a stricter application of its rules with regard to the intermediaries as mentioned in information technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 and make any laws or regulations deemed appropriate in its wisdom, in light of the comments in this judgment,” it said.

After watching some episodes of the series, the court found that there had been excessive use of “swear words”, “profanity” and “vulgar expletives” and that the judge had to watch the episodes using earpieces, in the room, as the profanity of language was such that it could not be heard without shocking or disturbing those around him and taking into account the decency of language used by an ordinary prudent man.

“Most certainly this court notes that this is not the language used by the youth of the country or other citizens of this country, and this language cannot be called the most spoken language used in our country,” it said.

The court said that if the web series using such obscene and abusive words and foul language is allowed to be broadcast without setting limits, no message will be issued that a certain standard of decency and courtesy is expected from electronic media.

“As this court has noted, the receptive spirits consume what has been served to them and will serve the same in the streets, in schools, in their homes and in all other places, resulting in the absence of a civilized society. Societal norms fall when there is no effort is made to ensure they are adhered to. The petty rudeness will surely lead to a falling standard of politeness and the fallen language standards will lead to moral depravity,” it said.

Justice Sharma said there is no doubt that the courts cannot and never want to exercise moral policing.

However, the jurisprudence of judicial restraint cannot remain separate from the civil social sciences and the orders and rulings in different cases, different situations and situations that arise for the first time cannot be subjected to a straitjacket formula and condemned as moral policing, said It. .

The court said that the use of profanity is also a moral issue and society should also deal with it on its own.

“However, when the content is shown through social media, the sheer power of electronic media and its reach to people of all ages will surely attract the attention of the court, law enforcement agencies and legislative authorities to regulate it. One cannot choose of unlimited, unfettered freedom from blasphemous, indecent and obscene speech and expression through web series without classification of the same,” it said.

The court said that the youth is the most valuable asset of this country, who bears on his able shoulders the responsibility of preserving the greatness of the valuable culture including the linguistic pride of this nation.

A web series cannot run unfettered, violating the shadow and safety of arguments that no law criminalizes it or that some people use a language that tends to corrupt the young mind, projecting that the young generation will use such language speaks, it said.

The court said that Indian cinema, which has now also expanded to such web series and other short films on social media and OTT platforms, is undoubtedly not the same as in the old movies where the romance between two people was symbolically shown by two birds or flowers converging on the screen.

When examined in the practical light of the common man, this court concludes that it cannot be said that the majority of this country uses such vulgar, profanity, indecent, swear words and expletives as projected in the web series in everyday practice. spoken language, even in educational institutions.

It said that even if a verdict sparks a debate in society on an issue at the heart of a social problem, it will serve the purposes of justice, that is, the ultimate goal of a judge.

This story comes from a syndicated feed from third parties, agencies. Mid-day does not accept any responsibility or liability for the soundness, reliability, thoroughness and topicality of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the exclusive right to change, remove or remove (without prior notice) the content for any reason at its sole discretion.

Read original article here

Leave A Reply