‘Citizens through Social Media are causing havoc’: Madras HC seeks comprehensive report on Special Surveillance Cells – LawBeat

Chennai News

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The court stated that “the citizens, through the various social media platforms cause havoc to the nation and degrade the credibility and respect which the other countries around the globe have on Mother India”.

A Single Judge Bench of Justice N. Dhandapni of the Madras High Court has sought a comprehensive report from the Electronic Corporation on the opening of tender for the purchase of equipment for special cells that are to be established for the surveillance of social media platforms against the slurring attacks on individuals, constitutional functionaries, and high officials.

In July 2022, the High Court impleaded the Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu as a party-respondent in the present matter. The Electronic Corporation was entrusted with the task of floating the tender for the purchase of equipment with which the surveillance of social media platforms can be done.

The counsel for Electronic Corporation of Tamil Nadu informed the court that the tenders had been received, which will be opened within a period of one week, and a report with regard to the same will be filed before the court by the next date of hearing.

The High Court took note that the matter was on board for more than a year and a half, however, much progress was not made in the constitution and functioning of the Special Cells which were directed by the court. The court while taking note of the delay by the respondent and increasing wrong and deceitful information on YouTube channels said that: 

“It has come to the notice of this Court that very many individuals, using the YouTube Channel platform, are propagating wrong and deceitful information, which unsettles the mind of the common man. It is to be pointed out that any digital media should be used for the good of the public and using the same to vent ire against any individuals or against constitutional functionaries and high officials in the State and Central Government would not only be a personal attack on their privacy and prestige but would also be damaging to the reputation of the said individuals and would also have a cascading effect on the work discharged by them. The opinion among the public about the said officials would be blown to smithereens, which would not be in the interest of the Nation.” 

The court in its order while seeking a comprehensive report said that the court is not pointing out specific channels and though the court has judicial power to issue directions it is the duty of the law enforcing agency to be vigilant and rescue the affected persons. Court said, 

“This Court is not pointing out any particular instance or channel that castigates the individuals and the officials in the State and Central Government and the constitutional functionaries. Though this Court could wield its judicial power to curb the menace and maintain the social decorum and harmony in the society. However, it is the duty of the law enforcing agencies to be more vigilant and go to the rescue of the affected persons, rather than putting it on the head of the Court to interfere in each and every single instance. Only with that view in mind this Court had constituted the Special Cells and, therefore, the operation of the Special Cells at the earliest is of utmost importance.”

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