Right to be forgotten: HC asks Centre, Google to reply to plea for removing verdict from search engine
New Delhi, Sep 29: The Delhi High Court sought replies from the Centre, Google and India Kanoon on a plea seeking removal of a judgement and an order in connection with a 7-year-old FIR under 'Right to be Forgotten', and asked how far this rule can be stretched.
Justice Rekha Palli issued notices asking them to respond to the petition while listing the matter for further proceedings on December 1, when several similar petitions are also fixed for hearing. The court orally observed that the 'right to be forgotten' depends on how far it has to be stretched.
"'Right to be forgotten' depends on how far it has to be stretched. Tomorrow, people who defraud the banks will come and say 'please remove the judgement'. We have to balance the rights," it said. The court was hearing a petition by one Sukhmeet Singh Anand seeking removal of a judgement and an order passed in 2015 and 2018 in connection with an FIR registered against him in 2014 by the Economic Offences Wing here.
The FIR was registered against the petitioner and other persons in 2014 pursuant to a complaint by Samsung Gulf Electronic FZE, Dubai. The plea, filed through advocate Tarun Rana, said merely by typing Singh's name on Google, the web page takes visitors directly to the links of the orders.
In August 2018, the petitioner had challenged the non-bailable warrants issued against him and the plea was dismissed by the high court. Thereafter, he filed another plea seeking directions to the high court registry to block search engines from assessing the orders in the matter, which was also dismissed in May 2019.
The plea referred to an interim order passed by the high court in April this year, directing removal of the judgement from the search results regarding the petitioner in that case. It said the petitioner sent a notice to Kanoon Software Pvt Ltd to withdraw the orders from its system; however, it refused to remove the orders on the pretext of website policy.
The petitioner also sent notices to the Centre and Google to take necessary steps for removal of the two orders from being viewed through the web portal. Google also showed inability to do anything in this regard, it said. PTI SKV SA