The Manipur government has been put on a spot just a day after it issued a notice to online news portal, The Frontier Manipur, under the newly-laid digital media rules.
The Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has written a letter to the Manipur chief secretary on March 2 stating that the state government has not been delegated any power to seek documents from digital media platforms under the new rules.
Secretary at the ministry, Amit Khare’s letter to Manipur chief secretary Rajesh Kumar states that “…the requirement of furnishing of information and disclosure of information are to be administered by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India.”
“These powers have not been delegated to the state governments/district magistrate/police commissioner,” the letter added.
Earlier on March 1, district magistrate at Imphal West district, Naorem Praveen Singh, has served a strongly-worded notice to Khanasi Neinasi (The Frontier Manipur’s talk show) to furnish all the relevant documents to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code), Rules, 2021, “failing which steps as deemed fit shall be initiated without further notice”.
The notice was seen as one of the first such cases against a digital media in India after the Centre introduced new guidelines for the digital media in the country.
The notice was withdrawn within hours of its issuance following the information and broadcasting ministry’s letter that said powers have not been delegated to the state governments/district magistrate/police commissioner.