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For Healthy Democracy, Social Media Must Not Be Curbed: Attorney General Of India

Freedom of speech on social media should not be curbed and any move to do so may invite litigation, the government’s top law officer has said, adding that it is unbecoming of a “healthy democracy”. The Supreme Court does initiate contempt cases but only in the rarest of rare cases, Attorney General KK Venugopal told in an interview. “For a healthy democracy, open discussions on social media should not be curbed. The Supreme Court normally does not react to criticism unless lines are crossed,” Mr Venugopal said in an interview amid instances of states charging individuals for social media posts and the top court’s decisions being questioned or criticised on Twitter.
“To curtail this would be unnecessary and the government should not bring any move to curtail this freedom. We need open democracy and open discussions,” he added. If something was pointed out, the Supreme Court would “be happy” to deal with it, said the Attorney General. “The Supreme Court would not go out of its way unless contempt is committed. The Supreme Court initiates contempt only in rarest of rare cases,” he said. Mr Venugopal has recently received several requests asking for consent to file contempt cases over tweets targeting the Supreme Court. He allowed around 11 people to¬†proceeded against stand up comic Kunal Kamrap who shot off multiple tweets questioning the top court’s decision to grant a reprieve to Republic TV anchor Arnab Goswami after he was jailed in a suicide abetment case in Mumbai.

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