On Wednesday, a PIL was moved in the Delhi high court inquiring directions to the Centre to take steps for linking social media accounts with Aadhaar, PAN or voter ID card to Kick out fake accounts.
The plea by BJP leader Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay has sought the relief, claiming that fake social media profiles are used to propagate “fake and paid news” during elections.
He has inquired directions to the Central government to deactivate the fake social media accounts to stop the spread of fake and paid news, notably when the model code of conduct is in drive.
Upadhyay, also a lawyer, has claimed in his plea that amendments require to be formed in the Indian Penal Code, Representation of People Act and the Information Technology law to stop publishing or abetting the publication of paid and fake news. He moved the high court after the Supreme Court on October 14 declined to consider the plea.
However, the apex court had granted him the liberty to request the high court. On Tuesday, the top court assigned to itself all the cases related to the linkage of social media profiles with Aadhaar and related matters to itself from various High Courts.
Upadhyay’s plea has sought a direction to the government to link profiles on social media platforms, including those on Facebook and Twitter, with Aadhaar and also a direction to the Election Commission and the Press Council of India for suitable steps to control fake and paid news.
The plea has also asked directions to the Centre for taking steps to declare publication of paid news and political advertisements 48 hours before an election as a corrupt practice under the Representation of People Act, 1951.
It was alleged that 10% of the 3.5 crore Twitter handles were duplicate, which included hundreds in the names of renowned people such as chief ministers and even the president and the prime minister of the country.
The plea alleged that millions of Facebook accounts were false, which used real photos of democratic authorities and were used to promote casteism, communalism, and separatism, endangering national integration and were also the root cause of several riots.
(With Agency Inputs)