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By Saradha | Jul 14, 2020 05:00 PM

Almost six Deputy Commissioners in Haryana have imposed a ban on popular social media news platforms citing that “dissemination of unverified and misleading news from such platforms may disturb tranquility in the society and may adversely affect the mental health of common man” during the coronavirus pandemic. Activists in the state raised their voices against the move terming the curbs an “undeclared emergency” and an attempt to “silence the voice of social media

Six Haryana DCs ban FB, Twitter, Insta, Whatsapp and other SM sites

Social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook, Telegram, YouTube, Instagram, Public App and LinkedIn have been banned by the DCs of Sonipat, Kaithal, Charkhi Dadri, Karnal, Narnaul and Bhiwani. 

While the Karnal DC has imposed this ban for 15 days, the remaining five have stated that it will be in effect “till further orders”.Charkhi Dadri DC was the first one to impose this order on May 12 this year, while the latest order came from the Karnal DC on July 10. 

“No social media platform in Sonipat has taken permission to function as a news channel. They neither got registration from the Directorate of Information and Public Relations of Haryana government nor from Commissioner of Information and Broadcasting Ministry of the Union government. There is a possibility of (spread of) fear among a large section of the society in this abnormal circumstance of coronavirus pandemic because of intentional or unintentional fake news or wrong reporting from the news channels of social media…So it is necessary to get registered from any regulatory body for functioning of a social media platform as a news channel,”  the order issued on June 16 by Sonipat DC Shyam Lal Punia mentioned. 

The restrictions come under Section 188 of the IPC, Disaster Management Act of 2005 and the Epidemic Disease Act, 1957. Jail term and penalty would be given in cases of violation.

However, few activists have opposed the move. Reportedly, a human rights activist Sukhvinder Nara has termed the curbs as “arbitrary and unconstitutional". "Article 19 (1)(a) of the Constitution gives guarantee of freedom of speech and expression which includes freedom of media. The action of authorities is violation of this constitutional provision. The DCs concerned have quoted an order of the Supreme Court while imposing the restrictions but the apex court did not order any ban on the social media news platforms,” Nara, a lawyer by profession told The New Indian Express.

அரசியல், விளையாட்டு, நாட்டுநடப்பு, குற்ற சம்பவங்கள், வர்த்தகம், தொழில்நுட்பம், சினிமா, வாழ்க்கை முறை என பலதரப்பட்ட சுவாரஸ்யமான செய்திகளை தமிழில் படிக்க இங்கு கிளிக் செய்யவும்      



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