Chennai: Madras High Court on Friday ordered immediate ban of Tamil website 'Savukku' for being vituperative and tarnishing the reputation of several judges, IAS and IPS officers, advocates and others.
"This court notes that the reputation and status of not less than half a dozen judges, very many advocates, IAS and IPS officers stand attacked and damaged at the hands of this vituperative site," observed Justice C T Selvam, passing interim orders on a criminal original petition filed by advocate and television newsreader Mahalakshmi.
"The contents of the posts in the site are so grossly demeaning, so obnoxious and so harmful that they are not worthy of being brought in print in an order of this court," he observed.
He then directed the group coordinator (Joint Secretary), Cyber Law Division, Department of Information Technology, Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, Government of India to "block the entire website (www.savukku.net) with immediate effect on receipt of the order."
In her first round of litigation, Mahalakshmi obtained a direction to city police to register a criminal case against the website and those connected with it.
In the present round, she wanted further action and also raised "a very important issue of prevention of abuse and misuse of information technology for the purpose of defaming the reputation of an individual by uploading obscene pictures/photographs."
Justice Selvam, expressing shock at material furnished by Mahalakshmi to prove she had been subjected to "immeasurable harm", said, "All this is done without so much as having the courage to inform who is behind the offending website."
Holding service providers and those managing the sites responsible for contents uploaded ultimately, he said website service providers and all other persons providing internet service necessarily would require persons incharge of websites to inform true particulars on names and addresses.
"Clearly, in this case, the names and addresses stand wrongly informed."
The judge also recorded the concern expressed by Advocate General of Tamil Nadu A L Somayaji and said special teams had been formed to ascertain the location of the accused persons.
He also made it clear that every objectionable post uploaded in the site would give rise to separate cause of action for people to initiate appropriate proceedings against the site.
"Each and every instance of objectionable and vituperative, malignant post in the website would give cause for separate cases and actions," the judge said.