SC issues notice to Google, Facebook, other internet majors on sharing of sexual assault videos
The apex court sought a reply on a plea asking the firms including Yahoo and Microsoft to curb the circulation of such clips.
The Supreme Court on Monday issued notices to Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo on the sharing of sexual assault videos, PTI reported. A bench of the court comprising justices MB Lokur and UU Lalit sought the companies’ views on how to end the circulation of such video clips, block them and report the incidents to investigating agencies.
The bench said it will issue orders on the circulation of gang rape videos, LiveLaw reported. The notices were issued based on a public interest litigation filed by activist Sunitha Krishnan. In her plea, Krishnan had sought an investigation into the issue by a central agency as well as directions to the Centre on the matter.
The bench also said the names of sexual offenders would be made public only if they were convicted by a court. The Union Home Ministry said it had already set up “an expert committee” that had proposed to set up an agency, the Indian Cyber Crime Co-ordination Centre.
Meanwhile, the Central Bureau of Investigation, which is handling the matter, urged the court that it be given the independence to investigate and prosecute those sharing such videos.
The CBI said it was ready to “take up the requisite responsibility” of being the “single central institutional mechanism to address cases relating to video recordings of incidents of sexual violence against women and children”. However, the bench said that the CBI could not investigate a person on the cyber crime-related aspects of a sexual assault case if the police was not able to find any evidence of the individuals involvement in the case.