Rajasthan police can ban social media

DECCAN CHRONICLE | SANJAY BOHRA
Published Dec 20, 2015, 1:48 pm IST
Updated Mar 26, 2019, 4:20 pm IST
Police can ban internet, SMS for eight months to deal with rumour-mongering.

Jaipur: Rajasthan may soon have a law to deal with rumour-mongers on social media. With aim to prevent misuse of social media for disturbing peace and communal harmony, the state government said to be planning to introduce a new tougher act to deal with trouble makers.

Although, the state home department has issued a guideline on Friday that gives police powers to ban internet, SMS and mobile services up to eight months to check rumour-mongers from spreading communal frenzy through social media like Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp but there is no specific law to deal with them. Right now, the police take action under section 153 of the IPC and some sections of the Cyber Act but the maximum provision for jail under them is only three years.

 

But, the state government not only wants to increase jail sentence but also feels that the current laws are not effective enough. It wants to give police more powers and make it technically sound. Home department and the police have reportedly started working on the draft of the new Bill.

The matter of misuse of social media had been raised during the conference of collectors and SPs in July this year. There have also been some incidents in different parts of the state in which rumours on social media created communal tension in those areas.

Till the new Act comes into force, the new guideline by the home department gives district collector and SP power to ban social media, mobile and internet services for alleged misuse of social media for spreading rumours that might create communal tension.

 

Under section 144 (1) of the CrPC, the district collector or the SP will be able to ban social media for two months but for more than two months they will have to seek permission from the state government. The ban period can be increased for another six months.

The guideline says that SP or District Collector can ask internet or mobile service provider to ban the services if they feel that social media can create communal tension. The guideline also asks them for effective use of local media to keep a tab on communally sensitive information in order to control communal incidents efficiently. 

 

They will also have to make a calendar of festivals, religious processions, fairs and incidents of caste and communal violence.

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