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SC Snub to Centre’s Fact-Check Unit a day after Notification



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In a significant development, the Supreme Court has halted the Centre’s notification regarding the establishment of a fact-check unit under the Press Information Bureau (PIB) just a day after its issuance. The move comes following the Bombay High Court’s approval of the government’s initiative aimed at tackling the spread of fake news.

A bench comprising Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Justice JB Pardiwala, and Justice Manoj Misra underscored the gravity of the matter, emphasizing its implications on the fundamental right to freedom of expression. The decision to pause the notification reflects the court’s commitment to safeguarding constitutional liberties amidst evolving challenges in the digital age.

The Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology had formally announced the creation of the Fact Check Unit (FCU) within the PIB framework on Wednesday. The FCU was designated as a statutory body empowered to identify and flag purportedly false information pertaining to the Central government and its affiliated agencies on various social media platforms.

However, the Supreme Court refrained from offering a definitive stance on the merits of the case, choosing instead to address the broader implications for freedom of expression and the need for judicial scrutiny in matters concerning governmental interventions in the dissemination of information.

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