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SC orders search engines to block pre-natal sex determination ads
The Supreme Court (SC) today directed search websites Google, Yahoo and Microsoft to set up an in-house mechanism to remove online search results soliciting couples to undergo sex determination tests.

The SC was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by petitioner Sabu Mathew George that had sought a ban on websites which are soliciting couples to undergo sex determination tests.

The order was passed by a Bench of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice R Banumathi despite strong opposition from giants Google, Yahoo and Microsoft. The tech companies had argued that such a ban would go against the right to freedom of information.

Earlier, the SC had directed the Center to set up a " style="font-weight:normal;color:#993366">Nodal Agency to address complaints regarding pre-natal ads. Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar today informed the Court that the Nodal Agency has been set up. The Court also said that the in-house committee to be framed by the tech companies shall take assistance from the Nodal Agency to deal with such content.

Senior Advocate KV Viswanathan and Advocate Ruby Ahuja appearing for the Tech companies had opposed the order saying that while the companies are ready to comply with the Nodal Agency but an in-house mechanism could lead to a massive number of complaints addressed to them. 

The counsels also argued that such a mechanism could also lead to a slew of litigation in various High Courts.

They had demanded from the court that they should be heard out fully on the matter before passing such an order. The Court, however, did not accept the argument. The case has now been listed for hearing on April 11.

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