Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft have agreed to the Supreme Court orders of blocking sex determination ads. The Government of India has handed over a list of 42 phrases which would not yield search results online. This came after the Supreme Court of India held Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo! In contempt of the court by intentionally attempting to defy its orders regarding prenatal sex determination.
Rift with the Centre
The Centre told the court that they have come up with a list of words which will be automatically blocked. These words/phrases range from ‘prenatal sex determination’ to ‘baby gender selection’.
Earlier this year, on July 15, the court had given orders to the Modi government to take necessary steps to stop the search engines from yielding results or advertising such domestic and foreign services. Carrying out or assisting in any way with such practices in India is a criminal offense, and the Supreme Court of India had accused the search engines of assisting in gender-based foeticide.
When the legal representatives of the giants countered saying that the companies will take the suggested action, if such instances of searches directly resulting in female foeticide would be brought to their notice, the court said that they are under obligation to do it, anyway.
The latest statistics suggest that there are around 500,000 cases of female foeticides in India every year. A UNICEF study suggests that over two crore would-be-girls were killed in the fetus itself in India. The alarmingly increasing male sex ratio in 80 percent of districts in India are a direct result of this.
The bench clearly told the Centre’s legal representative that Microsoft, Yahoo! And Google is blatantly violating the laws of the nation and must be dealt with severely. The Centre has been instructed to preside over a meeting with the experts representing them and ones from the respective companies within a week and come up with a way for removing all such search results that violate the laws of the country.
This action has been taken by the SC upon a petition by Sabu Matthew George, a member of National Inspection and Monitoring Committee that was setup by the court for issues relating to this agenda in 2003.
Pre-Natal Diagnostic Test has been a venom in the social stigma in the country since perennial times. The highest legal authority of India has now made it clear that meddling with the laws of the country will be dealt with in a manner that they are meant to be.