What Supreme Court told Google, Microsoft, Yahoo On Sex Determination Ads

What Supreme Court told Google, Microsoft, Yahoo On Sex Determination Ads

You must become responsive to Indian law, Supreme Court tells Internet search engines

Highlights

  • Appoint internal body to remove sex-determination ads, orders top court
  • You can't violate the laws of the country, court tells the search engines
  • Petition blamed search engines for not following law which bars such ads
NEW DELHI: Internet search engines - Google, Yahoo and Microsoft's Bing - were ordered by the Supreme Court on Thursday to appoint internal expert body to remove advertisements linked to sex-determination tests barred by law.

"You can't violate the laws of the country. You must become responsive to Indian law," the top court told the three companies on a public interest petition that had drawn the court's attention to the declining sex ratio.

It blamed search engines for not doing enough to stop advertisements or leading net surfers to online material propagating sex determination.

The court also told the Centre to advertise about the nodal agency so that people know about it and can approach the body.

The search engines - who told court they respect Indian laws and don't violate them - had opposed the order on setting up internal expert committees to track violations, saying it would create a huge problem for them.

The top court, however, explained that its only objective was to help check the decline in sex ratio, which was "quite low", and was "likely to affect the prospects of human race".

India's child sex ratio - the number of girls for 1,000 boys in the 0-6 age group - dropped from 964 in 1971 to a low of 918 in 2011.

Between 2001 and 2011, the decline was seen in more than two-thirds of the districts in the nation.

The problem is worse in urban areas, numbers show. In 2011, the national capital, Delhi, had one of the lowest child sex ratios of any state, with only 871 girls born for every 1,000 boys.

Parliament outlawed prenatal sex determination way back in 1994 to prevent sex-selective abortions but by most accounts, implementation of the law has been patchy. In 2015, the top court had also expressed its dissatisfaction with the number of people booked for violating this law in certain states.