Facebook, Gmail accounts for minors: Sangh leader wants High Court to ban it

Facebook, Gmail accounts for minors: Sangh leader wants High Court to ban it

An Indian court has opened a Pandora box of questions so far unanswered by social networking giants. Delhi High Court while taking up a petition has asked the social networking companies as to how it enters into agreement with minors aged from 13 years to 18 years. In India, a person till 18 years of age is taken as a child or juvenile in legal lingo and cannot be considered to face same punishments that are set for adults. This is the reason that one of the culprits in infamous Delhi rape case of Nirbhaya, who was a juvenile and 16 years of age will walk free after three years in juvenile prison, while other suspects undergo rigorous imprisonment and exemplary punishments.

To be true, kids of very young age –as young as 8 or 9 years –becoming members of Facebook and Twitter. Though it is obvious that they lie about their age and show them at least 13 years of age, the fact that 13 years of age can become member of the sites is itself objectionable.

In the meantime Delhi High Court has issued a notice to the union government asking as to how minors less than 18 years of age can open their accounts on social networking sites like Facebook besides having email accounts on email services like Gmail and Yahoo. The Delhi High Court has also made Facebook and Google respondents and the court has issued notice to both in the case.

The case was taken up for hearing by a two judges bench of the Delhi High Court Justices B.D. Ahmed and Vibhu Bakhru who asked the Centre union government to answer within next 10 days. Earlier while filing the case in the court counsel for the former BJP leader, K.N. Govindacharya, the petitioner in the matter, accused the two sites of not verifying the details of its subscribers. In the meantime the High Court bench has also impleaded Facebook Inc. and Google Inc. as parties to the petition and issued notices to them. This is the first time that such a question has been raised at such high level.

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