The Supreme Court on Friday justified rules that were framed by the Centre mandating websites to remove objectionable posts that are there online within 36 hours from networking sites after receiving a complaint and refused to stay it.

A bench of justices H L Gokhale and J Chelameswar said, “A holistic view needs to be taken on it as the impact of any objectionable post on websites is huge and it can spread all over the country”.

The bench also added, “In a huge country of 120 crores people, if something objectionable is published, then it has the consequences all over the country, particularly if it is related to political and religious issues. You have to remove it then. We have to take a holistic approach. You know how rumour spreads”.

“Prima facie we don’t find anything wrong with the rules,” the bench said and questioned the site on how its freedom of speech is violated. The bench said the website was set up for business purpose.

It turned down the plea of a website mouthshut. com, a user-generated content and consumer review website, which submitted Information Technology (Intermediaries guidelines) Rules violates its freedom of speech and expression and asked for a stay on its operation.

“You know how rumours were spread. Something happened in Myanmar and north eastern people in Bangalore had to leave the city. What is wrong with the rules? Serious things have happened because of such posts,” the bench said.

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