SC asks Google, Yahoo and Microsoft to stop sex-determination ads

Updated: Jan 28, 2015, 18:29 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked websites to block advertisements featuring pre-natal sex determination.

In reply to a PIL filed, the apex court has ordered Google India, Yahoo India and Microsoft Corporation (I) Pvt Ltd to stop showing advertisement of sex-determination on their sites.

The court also directed the search engines to upload on their policy page and the terms of service page its order that they would not advertise or sponsor any advertisement which violated Section 22 of Prohibition of advertisement relating to pre-natal determination of sex (PC-PNDT) Act.

"As an interim measure, it is directed, the respondents, namely, Google, Yahoo and Microsoft shall not advertise or sponsor any advertisement which would violate Section 22 of the PC-PNDT Act, 1994," a bench of justices Dipak Misra and Prafulla C Pant said.

If any advertisement existed on any search engine, "the same shall be withdrawn forthwith by the respondents," it said.

The order was passed after Google and Microsoft argued that they were not advertising anything which violated the PC-PNDT Act or any Indian law.

They also said it was not clear from the government's affidavit the nature of information sought as it has only stated that the search engines should be asked to provide or submit details of measures adopted by them to block or filter keywords and sponsored links violative of PC-PNDT Act and amendments.

In view of the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994, where pre-natal sex determination was made an offence, the court directed the websites to stop such ads.

(With Agency inputs)