Supreme Court has transferred to itself all cases related to the linkage of social media profiles with Aadhaar pending in different high courts and also asked the Centre to submit its report in January to check social media misuse.
A bench of justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose, while allowing the transfer petition of Facebook, asked the registry to place all connected matters before the chief justice of India for listing before an appropriate bench in last week of January 2020.
The top court also asked the Centre to submit its report in January on the notification of rules by which social media misuse can be checked and liability could be fastened on intermediaries to decrypt messages. The bench’s order came after Attorney General K K Venugopal, appearing for Tamil Nadu, dropped his opposition to Facebook’s plea seeking transfer of all cases pending in different high courts to the apex court.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, clarified that its is not a ploy to breach the privacy of individuals but it is an attempt to protect national security and sovereignty. The attorney general then intervened and said a terrorist cannot claim his right to privacy. Mehta also rubbished the claim of some petitioners, who alleged that the draft rule under consideration of the government, which would enable authorities to fasten liability on intermediaries to trace the originator of a particular message or a content, is government’s ploy to “trample individual’s privacy”.