Digvijay backs Sibal over website regulations



New Delhi: Congress leader Digvijay Singh on Tuesday backed Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal's drive against offensive and defamatory content on internet sites, saying that the service providers should observe self regulation.

Singh, who has been himself a victim of such content, said that he was not in favour of a ban but for the service providers to ensure that they do not allow their platform to be used for maligning the image of anyone.

He said that freedom of expression does not mean allowing vilest abuses against anyone. 64-year-old Singh has courted controversy at regular intervals with remarks on Hindutva terror, Batla House encounter, Maoism and Home Minister P Chidambaram.

Singh, who has filed a complaint against several persons and websites including Facebook and Twitter, said the I T Act of Delhi has all the provisions that could land those carrying such defamatory content in trouble.

His lawyer Rohit Kochar said that posting such offensive content was no longer a civil offence but a criminal one which has provision of imprisonment of upto three years.

Singh has filed a complaint against 22 people who used websites to allegedly post "highly offensive" content against him. He has also sought registration of case against eight websites.

The Economic Offences Wing of Delhi Police's Crime Branch has registered the case under Section 66 of IT Act, which deals with punishment for sending offensive messages through communication services, on September 29.

Singh has sought police action for causing "severe damage to his goodwill and reputation besides inflicting acute mental pain and agony on "him, his family, friends and colleagues".

"The same is also causing grave damage and injury to the reputation, goodwill and image of the Congress party to which Singh is the General Secretary," the complaint said.

PTI