Centre plans law on online hate speech

Centre plans law on online hate speech

What has happened?

  • Moving a step ahead towards framing a distinct law for online “hate speech,” the Home Ministry has written to the Law Commission to prepare a draft law
  • The provisions will deal with offensive messages sent through social media and online messaging applications

T.K Viswanathan Committee recommendations

  • A committee headed by former Lok Sabha Secretary General T.K. Viswanathan submitted a report recommending stricter laws to curb online hate speech
  • The panel was formed after Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, 2000, was scrapped by the Supreme Court in 2015.

Proposed Law

Whoever on grounds of religion, race, caste or community, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, place of birth, residence, language, disability or tribe, uses any means of communication to – (a) gravely threaten any person or group of persons with the intention to cause fear of injury or alarm; or (b) advocate hatred towards any person or group of persons that causes, or is likely to cause, incitement to commit an offence.

What Next?

The Law Commission has been asked to include its earlier recommendations, and those from the Viswanathan and M.P. Bezbaruah committees, to give a “comprehensive draft law”

Bezbaruah Committee

  • The Bezbaruah Committee was constituted by the Centre in February 2014 in the wake of a series of racial attacks on persons belonging to the northeast
  • Though the committee submitted its report in July 2014, the Home Ministry sent out letters to States for their opinion almost four years later, in February this year
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