DOT ordered to ban porn sites in India

Most of the websites which are delivering pornographic contents are at present in accessible in India, on several Internet Service Providers (ISP’s). With effect from August 1, 2015 most of the internet service providers are displaying either a blank page or “Directory does not exist”.

Some browser displayed even the message “Your requested URL has been blocked as per the directions received from Department of Telecommunications, Government of India” when attempting to access a porn site.

Earlier, in the month of July, 2015 Supreme Court declined to pass an interim order to block porn sites in India. While hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by an advocate, asking to ban porn sites in India, it was observed by the apex court that, “how can you stop me from watching it within the four walls of my room?”

In the said case, court further observed that, blocking a porn website being watched at home would be a violation of Right to personal liberty as guaranteed under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.

The petition which is asking for a web filter to censor any obscene content (obscenity is wider than pornography) was on a presumption that the consumption of pornography incites and causes sexual violence to women.

Association of Unified Tele Services Providers v. Union of India

Related to the corruption issue where, the Apex court ruled that, those Private companies that share revenue from natural resources like spectrum with the government would be subjected to CAG audit. It said so while dismissing the appeal of the Association of Unified Telecom Services Providers.

Association of Unified Tele Services Providers & Others v. Union of India

Apex Court ruled that, Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) can scrutinise the books of private telecom operators that share revenue with the government on spectrum use. It was an appeal concerned with the scope and ambit of the powers and duties of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) in relation to the proper computation and quantification of Revenue in determining the licence fee and spectrum charges payable to Union of India under Unified Access Services (UAS) Licences entered into between DoT and the private service providers.

The ruling by the apex court provides legal underpinning to the notion that non-state companies are subject to checks by the national auditor as long as they are involved in public-private partnership (PPP) projects and similar ventures.

Court observed that, CAG’s examination of accounts of service providers in a revenue sharing contract is extremely important to ascertain whether there is an unlawful gain to the service provider and an unlawful loss to the Union, because the revenue generated out of that has to be credited to the Consolidated Fund. However, Court refused to name it as Statutory Audit and further said that, CAG can carry out examination into the economy, efficacy and effectiveness with which the Union of India has used its resources, and whether it has realised the entire licence fee, spectrum charges and also whether the Union has correctly carried out the audit under… the UAS (unified access service) licence agreement.

Read the Judgment