The Delhi High Court recently appointed Senior Advocate Saurabh Kirpal as Amicus Curiae in a case filed by a woman seeking the removal of objectionable pictures, videos and posts of her from the internet [Mrs. X vs. Union of India].
The plea also sought specific directions to block pornographic websites containing these pictures, which were operating under false names.
Justice Subramonium Prasad of the Delhi High Court ordered,
"Mr. Saurabh Kirpal, learned Senior Advocate, is appointed as Amicus Curiae, to assist the Court in this case. Let a complete paper book be supplied to Mr. Saurabh Kirpal, learned Senior Advocate by the learned counsel for the petitioner."
The Court also permitted the parties to place additional documents on record, and listed the matter for hearing on November 8, 2021.
Advocate Mamta Jha, appearing for Google LLC in this matter, submitted that all the offending materials which were available on YouTube had been removed and no fresh content had been uploaded on the websites. She further stated that 49 URLs, which were notified, had now been de-indexed.
Jha also submitted that the fact that the links are de-indexed by Google LLC, does not mean that they cannot be found elsewhere on the internet. Other search engines can still lead a person surfing the content back to the same sites, she said.
Additional Standing Counsel for the State Richa Kapoor submitted that there were only five links which were active now. She asked that the five entities/websites be impleaded in the matter, and the Court agreed to do so.
Advocate Anurag Ahluwalia, on behalf of the Central government, also sought a direction to the petitioner to provide the correct URLs so that the Centre can take action accordingly.
Earlier this year, the Delhi High Court had directed the Central government, Delhi Police Cyber cell, YouTube and Google to take down objectionable photos and videos of the petitioner available on the internet.
"It is made clear that this is not an adversarial litigation and it is expected that Ms. Mamta Jha, learned counsel appearing for respondent No.3/ Google LLC and respondent No.5/YouTube and Mr. Anurag Ahluwalia, learned counsel for the Union of India and the Cyber Cell of Delhi Police to take necessary steps to remove the sites and links, carrying objectionable photos and videos of the petitioner, from the internet before the next date of hearing," the Court said.
Read order here: