Delhi HC Allows PIL: Battling Deepfake Videos During Elections

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On Wednesday, i.e., May 1, the Delhi High Court agreed to hear a public interest litigation against the spread of fake videos seeking to sway voters during the ongoing Lok Sabha elections.

A division bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Manmeet Pritam Singh Arora will adjudicate this public interest petition, filed by a lawyer’s body, and advocate Jayant Mehta is representing them.

The Petitioner’s Plea

Through the plea, the petitioner seeks directions to be issued to the election commission to take action against deepfake videos that are meant to manipulate the voters and create false narratives on the ground of misinformation.

The senior counsel highlighted that the Information Technology Act offers a legal framework to address violations like spreading misinformation through fake videos, but enforcement can be time-consuming. Thus, when asked about redressal systems,

Jayant Mehta explained that contacting social media platforms and utilizing their grievance redressal systems often takes time. By the time these platforms intervene and remove the deepfake videos, the misinformation has already spread among voters, causing significant damage. Thus, despite legal provisions, the delay in addressing such issues worsens the impact of misinformation on the electoral process.

The Day’s Proceedings

Mehta informed the court that the plea had been filed by a group of lawyers and requested that it be heard as soon as possible. The court granted an urgent listing of the PIL for tomorrow.

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About the Author: Hemansh Tandon