The Supreme Court on Thursday expressed serious concern over news website and social media platforms for spreading fake news in the absence of a regulatory mechanism.

A bench headed by CJI N V Ramana was hearing a batch of petitions, seeking directions to the Centre to stop the dissemination of “fake news”.

The bench observed that “web portals are not governed by anything. There is an attempt to give communal colour to news and that is the problem. It ultimately brings bad name to country.”

If you go to YouTube you can see how many fake news is there. Web portals are not governed by anything. There is an attempt to give communal colour to news and that is the problem. It ultimately brings bad name to the country,” Bar and Bench quoted CJI Ramana as saying.

The Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind and Peace Party in its plea sought directions from top court to stop media outlets from allegedly spreading fake news by linking the spread of COVID-19 with the Tablighi Jamaat congregation that took place at Nizamuddin in Delhi in March 2020.

Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta responded by saying that the new Information Technology Rules, 2021 attempt to regulate social and digital media.

“This is what is taken care of under IT Rules,” he said.

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