Verify If Aadhaar-Social Media Linking Matter In Top Court, BJP Leader Told

In October, the top court had transferred all cases related to the linking of Aadhaar with social media profiles from different high courts to itself.

Verify If Aadhaar-Social Media Linking Matter In Top Court, BJP Leader Told

Aadhaar is a personal identification number issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India

New Delhi:

The Delhi High Court said on Thursday that it would hear a plea seeking linking of social media accounts with Aadhaar, Permanent Account Number (PAN) or the voter's ID only if no similar matter is pending in the Supreme Court.

A bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar asked the petitioner - Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay - to verify whether a similar issue is being dealt with by the top court so that there is no overlapping.

The direction to Mr Upadhyay came after the central government told the bench that the top court had transferred all matters pertaining to the linking of social media accounts with Aadhaar to itself.

Mr Upadhyay, also a lawyer, has sought linking of social media accounts - on websites such as Facebook and Twitter - with Aadhaar, PAN or the voter's ID to weed out the accounts allegedly used to spread fake or paid news, especially during elections.

He has sought directions to the Centre to deactivate fake social media accounts to prevent the spread of fake and paid news, especially when the model code of conduct is in force. He has also asked for amendments in the Indian Penal Code, the Representation of People Act (RPA) and the Information Technology law to stop publishing or abetting publication of paid and fake news.

He moved the high court after the Supreme Court on October 14 refused to entertain the plea.

The Supreme Court, however, had granted him the liberty to approach the high court.

On October 22, the top court had transferred to itself all cases related to linkage of social media profiles with Aadhaar and related matters from different high courts.

Mr Upadhyay's plea has sought a direction to the Election Commission and the Press Council of India for suitable steps to control fake and paid news.

It has also sought directions to the Centre for taking steps to declare the publication of paid news and political advertisements 48 hours before an election as a "corrupt practice" under the RPA.

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