The court has also restrained two advocates from putting out any message or material attacking the institution

Madras HC orders Facebook Google to take down scandalous messages by 2 advocates
news Judiciary Saturday, February 06, 2016 - 18:30

The Madras High Court has passed restraining orders to Communications and Information Technology Ministry, Facebook and YouTube Google India Pvt Ltd against publication, distribution and circulation of material “scandalizing the institution" or anyone who is part of it, including woman lawyers, and also asked the tech companies to take down such posts which were made by two lawyers in the past.

The court has also restrained two advocates from putting out any message or material attacking the institution in any manner through postings on social media or applications on their mobile phones.

A group of six women lawyers, including Sudha Ramalingam and Anna Mathew, had filed a writ petition seeking a direction to evolve certain guidelines and protocol for protecting women engaged as part of the justice delivery system in various capacities from scandalous attacks through electronic means of communication. The writ was filed after WhatsApp messages and Facebook postings allegedly by two advocates Peter Ramesh Kumar and Manikandan Vathan Chettiar, linking some woman advocates with judges.

The bench directed the managements of Facebook and YouTube at Hyderabad to take steps to block the objectionable material, particularly against women lawyers, which originated from mobile phones of the lawyers.

It also directed the Superintendent of Police, Cyber Cell of the Commissioner of Police to render necessary assistance to Facebook and YouTube managements in this regard.

The Madurai branch of the Madras High Court Bar Association has already suspended its member Peter Ramesh Kumar for making allegedly defamatory statements against some judges and women lawyers through his postings on Facebook, YouTube and WhatsApp.

The Madras High Court bench had already initiated suo motu criminal contempt of court proceedings against Peter, former president of the Madurai unit of the High Court Advocates Association, for allegedly disrupting the court proceedings on September 16 last and challenging the court to act against him.

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