HC tells the Center, Marketing & Advertising News, AND BrandEquity

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The Madras High Court on Monday barred the central government from taking coercive action against digital media companies under new appeal codes made to the parent information technology law.

The first bench of Acting Chief Justice MN Bhandari and Justice PD Audikesavalu issued the injunction when a new public interest litigation (PIL) petition from the Indian Broadcasters and Digital Media Foundation was submitted to the hearing today.

“The respondents (Center) are precluded from taking enforcement action without leave of the court,” the judiciary said and released the case for a new hearing on Jan. 25.

The petition challenged the provisions of the Information Technology Rules (Intermediate Directives and Code of Ethics for Digital Media), introduced in February this year.

Earlier, lead counsel for the petitioner alleged that the Center had initiated criminal proceedings in accordance with the provisions of the Rules, even though the Bombay High Court had granted a provisional stay of the Rules a few months ago.

On August 14 of this year, the Bombay High Court suspended the application of sub-rules (1) and (3) of rule 9 of said 2021 rules.

The Kerala High Court also issued a similar order prohibiting the Center from taking any action, he said.

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