The Supreme Court has set a deadline of January 10 for the Centre to set up a web portal for filing of complaints of child sexual abuse, child pornography and gangrape videos. The order was passed recently after the Centre informed the apex court that the work on the portal is ongoing and will take a minimum time of one month to be set up.
Advancing the deadline, the Bench of Justices Madan B lokur and UU lalit said it was high time that the portal is ready and made available to the public at large.
The Centre informed the Bench that the standard operating procedures for use of the portal will be framed within a month. The Bench was not satisfied and said, "The matter has been pending for quite some time and we find from the affidavit filed by the CBI on October 8, 2015 that steps are being taken to enable complaints being filed through a portal." The Court will hear the matter next on January 8, 2018 for compliance of its order.
The petitioner supporting such a move urged the Court to direct the Centre to give adequate publicity to the said web portal to facilitate public to make complaints.
The hearing on the issue of blocking online videos of child sex abuse, rape videos and child pornography is being conducted by the apex court "in-camera" without giving access to media. During the hearing, the counsels appearing for the parties informed that Centre filed a status report which the Court felt was not up to the mark. "We expect the Union of India to file a proper detailed status report rather than comments on the orders passed by this Court," the Court remarked.
The proceedings in the case got triggered following a letter written to the Court by a NGO Prajwala claiming how violent rape videos were being circulated online. Acting suo moto on the letter, the Court directed CBI to probe the matter.
Following the probe, CBI informed the Court that it was hard to track the source of information forwarded on social media platforms. The Court then sought assistance of internet giants Google, Microsoft, Yahoo to provide a mechanism by which such videos can be blocked or taken down on making a complaint. With the web portal, the Court seeks to strengthen the complaint mechanism needed to take down such videos.