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‘Social media is an uncontrollable medium and can destabilise society’

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Social media is an “uncontrollable medium” with a potential to even destabilise society, but “response” to such a problem should be national in nature and come from Parliament, the Centre argued before the Supreme Court on Wednesday.

Appearing before a Bench led by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said the Delhi Legislature’s Committee on Peace and Harmony may lack the jurisdictional competence to pass recommendations to regulate social media.

The Centre was responding to a petition filed by senior Facebook official Ajit Mohan against his summons by the Committee to testify about any role played by social media platforms in the events leading up to the Delhi riots in February last year.

Mr. Mehta said Parliament has already passed the Information Technology Act which deals with social media intermediaries.

“Offences pertaining to social media intermediaries are statutorily defined by Parliament. The field is occupied by a Central Act,” he said.

He said problems concerning misuse of social media are globally felt.

“If there is a problem, the answer is not to give power to a Committee of a State legislature. There should be a national response by a national body, namely, Parliament.”

The court will continue to hear the case next week.

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