The Delhi High Court Wednesday reserved its order on a plea seeking direction to the central government for acting against Google India for not removing videos of controversial anti-Islam film “Innocence of Muslims” from YouTube. A division bench of Chief Justice D. Murugesan and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw reserved the order after both parties concluded their arguments.
The petition, filed by a group of lawyers, sought the removal of the 13-minute clip of the film from YouTube, official channel of Google India. It alleged that the movie was made in the US and the filmmaker was backed by anti-Islam groups.
The petitioners sought “direction against the respondents (the government, Google India and YouTube) to completely remove and block the links of the entire movie/trailers ‘Innocence of Muslim’ and all the clips emanating from the movie up-loaded on YouTube, owned by Google and shown in India”.
Senior Advocate Kirti Uppal, appearing for petitioners, argued that countries like Brazil, Argentina and Russia had banned the film and removed the video clips from the site. The government told the court that various courts in India had also passed orders on which it had acted.
“The government has already blocked 157 URLs (uniform resource locator) and let the petitioner give the link, we would take action,” said government’s counsel.
The petition said: “The internet companies should have taken a pro-active approach in disbanding anti-Islamic content. These firms like Google, have no code of conduct and behave irresponsibly. They tend to provoke first and then defend such blasphemous acts on the ruse of free speech.”