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


Urgent attention needs to be given to formulating rules and guidelines to regulate content on social media and OTT platforms. Delhi High Court has emphasized the need to take seriously the use of foul language in the public domain and on social media platforms that are open to children of a tender age.

Condemning the language used in the TVF web series ‘College Romance’, the High Court said that the use of vulgar language humiliates women to make them feel victimized as profanity and obscenity make women have sex. Refers to being an object.

“This court is of the view that the use of obscene language including abusive and bad words in the public domain and social media platforms needs to be taken seriously.

Justice Swaran Kanta Sharma said, “The use of obscene words and foul language in social media platforms should be regulated when it crosses a certain line, as it can be a real threat to impressionable minds and freedom of speech. cannot get the constitutional protection of,” said Justice Swaran Kanta Sharma. 41 page decision.

The judge said that while students and employees in schools, offices, etc. can be punished for using offensive speech, authorities also need to “regulate obscenities that enter the realm of obscene speech through the medium of broadcasting.”

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The High Court’s decision came while upholding the order of the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM), which asked the Delhi Police to register an FIR under the Information Technology Act against TVF, the show’s director Simarpreet Singh and actor Apoorav Arora. .

It clarified that the direction to lodge an FIR does not include a direction to arrest any accused or petitioner.

The court said that the challenge India is facing to enact appropriate laws, guidelines and regulations to regulate content on social media and OTT platforms requires urgent attention.

“This Court draws the attention of the Ministry of Information and Technology to the situations which are rapidly emerging on a day-to-day basis and steps to strictly implement its rules for notified intermediaries in Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics) to pick up Code) Rules, 2021 and in the light of the observations made in this judgment, make any laws or regulations it may deem fit in its wisdom,” it said.

After watching some episodes of the series, the court found that there was excessive use of ‘foul language’, ‘foul language’ and ‘foul language’ and the judge had to watch the episodes with the help of earphones in chambers. The profanity of the language was such that it could not be heard without shocking or frightening the people around and considering the decency of the language maintained by a person of common sense.

It said, “Most certainly, this Court notes that this is not the language used by the youth of the country or the citizens of this country, and that this language is not the most frequently spoken language in our country.” can be said,” it said.

The court said that if a web series using such obscene and offensive words and vulgar language is allowed to air without any limits, it will fail to convey the message that electronic media is expected to be one of decency and harmony. Specific standards are expected.

“As this Court has observed, the impressionable minds use what is served to them and they serve the same on the streets, in schools, in their homes and in all other places, resulting in the absence of civil society. , social standards fall if no effort is made. It is designed to ensure that they are retained. The slightest inconsistency will certainly lead to falling standards of civility and falling standards of language will lead to moral decay,” it said.

Justice Sharma said that there is no doubt that courts cannot do moral policing, nor do courts ever want to.

It states that the jurisprudence of judicial restraint, however, cannot be separated from the civil social sciences and directly jacket formulas to orders and decisions in different cases, different situations and situations arising for the first time. cannot be subjugated and condemned as moral policing. .

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

“However, when content is displayed through social media, the immense power of electronic media and its reach to people of all ages will certainly invite the attention of court, law enforcement and law-making authorities to regulate it. Unrestricted, unrestricted freedom of profane, obscene and indecent speech and expression through web series without any classification,” it said.

The court said that the youth are the most valuable asset of this country who carry the responsibility of maintaining the dignity of the precious culture including linguistic pride of this country on their capable shoulders.

It said that the web series cannot be allowed to run unhindered as no law makes it punishable or some people use language that tends to corrupt young minds and It suggests that the younger generation speaks such a language.

The court said that Indian cinema, which now extends to such web series and other short films on social media and OTT platforms, is undoubtedly not like the old films where romance between two people was symbolically depicted by two birds. was Or the meeting of flowers on the screen.

When examined in the light of common man’s practicability, this Court comes to the conclusion that the majority of this country can be called upon to use such obscene, offensive, obscene, profane and offensive words, such as a web series. Presented daily in Language also spoken in educational institutions.

It states that even if a decision initiates a debate in society about an issue at the heart of a social problem, it will serve the end of justice, that is, the ultimate goal of a judge.

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