The Bombay High Court on Thursday refused to grant interim relief to a digital news portal which challenged the recently notified Information Technology (Guidelines for intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 issued under the Information Technology (IT) Act. (AGIJ Promotion Of Nineteenonea Media Pvt. Ltd. & Anr. v. Union of India & Anr.).The Court was also hearing a public interest litigation filed by a Mumbai Journalist Nikhil Mangesh Wagle who had also challenged the IT Rules 2021. .Both petitions claimed that the IT Rules are contrary to the fundamental rights under Article 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution of India, ultra vires the Information Technology (IT) Act.Another contention was that the Rules had been issued after unlawfully delegating judicial powers to the executive and attempted to overrule a long line of precedent established by the Supreme Court..Before the hearing could begin, a Bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice GS Kulkarni told the petitioners that the Central government had filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking transfer of all such pending petitions challenging the IT Rules. .[BREAKING] Central govt moves Supreme Court for transfer of cases challenging IT Rules 2021 from High Courts to Supreme Court.Senior Advocate Darius Khambatta appearing for the digital news portal, however, pointed out that there was no stay or order passed in the Supreme Court petition. He contended that he was seeking interim reliefs from the Court and wished to make submissions to that effect..Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh informed the Court that the transfer petition was coming up for hearing on Friday and these petitions will be placed for consideration before the Apex Court..In view of this submission, the High Court deferred hearing of the matter till next week..The PIL by Wagle raised grievance against the purported excessive powers to the enforcement agencies to take action against intermediary making it liable for punishment under ‘any law for the time being in force'. His contention was that such excessive and arbitrary powers was over and above what is provided by the IT Act.Part III of the Rules deals with ‘Code of ethics and procedure and safeguard in relation to Digital Media’.He submitted that neither Section 87 nor the IT Act as whole empowers the Union of India or the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India to control/regulate of digital news media and OTT Platforms.."IT Act does not empower Govt to regulate digital media:" Journalist moves Bombay High Court challenging Information Technology Rules 2021.The petition filed by the news portal - Leaflet - submitted through their writ petition that "IT Rules curtail and unconstitutionally restrict the freedom of press in India" due to the following reasons:Pervasive powers of control of state over content published;over-regulation and excessive burden on press through onerous obligations that will financially and operationally drain resources and capacity; andusurpation of judicial powers by executive bodies that violate constitutional norms for exercise of quasi-judicial powers..Apart from the large cost of compliance burdens, the petition states that the implementation of IT rules has "caused a chilling of the freedom of speech of the reporters and journalists working with the petitioners"..Their writ petition sought quashing of the IT Rules on the following grounds:That the IT Act was introduced for facilitating the electronic commerce in India and not to govern the internet at large.That it has no enabling provision permitting any authority to take generic actions for the regulation of the internet under the legislation. That despite this the Rules seek to create a wide class of entities known as "publishers" and regulate them, ostensibly under the aegis of IT Act.