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The Supreme Court bench of CJI Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud on Friday (July 13) asked Centre to file its response on a petition filed by TMC legislator Mohua Moitra challenging the Centre’s decision to monitor social media platforms.

The bench further directed Attorney General KK Venugopal to assist in the case.

The I&B Ministry had floated a tender for the creation of a Social Media Communication Hub which will enable the ministry “to grasp the affect of various social media campaigns conducted on various schemes run by the Government of India” to “improve the scope” of such campaigns and “to make a specific theme trending”.

It is to be noted that the issuing diktats against the media has become a regular affair at the I&B Ministry. Not very long ago, the ministry had to pull out a notification mandating punishment to journalists on the basis of mere allegations of “fake news” through withdrawal of their accreditation—a government-issued badge that allows them access to officialdom.

—India Legal Bureau   

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