Centre for Communication Governance at NLU delhi
Indian Policy Documents, Reports and Draft Legislation

Law Commission Report No. 267 on “Hate Speech”, 2017

The Law Commission of India recommended the addition of two new provisions to the IPC to further discourage hate speech – Section 153C to prohibit incitement to hatred, and Section 505A to prohibit speech that causes fear, alarm, or provocation of violence.

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Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines (Amendment) Rules, 2018

After a calling attention motion on “Misuse of Socal Media platforms and spreadig of Fake News” was admitted in the Rajya Sabha, draft amendments to the 2011 Rules were published by the Central Government in 2018. Public comments received and compiled by the MeitY can be accessed here while counter comments on the public comments are here

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Voluntary Code of Ethics, 2019

Social Media Platforms and the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) agreed to the Voluntary Code of Ethics for the General Elections, 2019, which came into effect in March 2019. As per the Code, the industry members agreed to take measures to prevent the exploitation and abuse of their platforms and coordinate with the Election Commission of India, in order to maintain the sanctity of the elections. 

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Jammu and Kashmir Media Policy, 2020

The recently approved Media Policy in J&K allows the Directorate of Information and Public Relations (DIPR) to examine news and information for fake news, unethical or anti-national content, and to take action based on such determination. The action may range from dis-empanelment of the concerned journalist/media outlet to criminal action under the IPC. (A critique of the Policy can be seen here.) 

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The Print Media Advertising Policy, 2020

The Print Media Advertising Policy which came into effect on 1 August 2020 requires all ministries to place at least 80% of their advertising funds with the Bureau of Outreach and Communication (‘BOC’) established under the I&B Ministry. The BOC will thus maintain a list of approved/empanelled publications for issuing of government advertisements through newspapers. Clause 17 of the Policy stipulates the grounds for disempanelment from the list. These envisage dis-empanelment inter alia “if the publication is found to have deliberately submitted false information regarding circulation or otherwise”, and if a publication is found to circulate fabricated or exaggerated news figures.

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