The Supreme Court on Tuesday cracked down on search engines Google, Yahoo and Microsoft for not filtering out advertisements featuring sex selection kits in India, which is illegal in the country.
The apex court has asked the centre to setup a meeting of technical experts and search engines immediately to come up with steps to prevent such forms of illegal advertising from showing, according to media reports.
A Supreme Court bench headed by Justices Dipak Misra and R. Banumathi made the observations that the search engines had violated Indian laws, which prohibit the sale of sex determination tests and their advertising. Last year, the court had ordered the search engines to follow local laws in connection with this banned practice.
According to an Economic Times report, lawyers for the intermediaries have said it was not technically feasible to block all the key words connected to such ads, as it would also result in blocking any content connected to such words.
"You have to do something about this (such ads on search engines). This has become a social evil," Justice Mishra said. "You have to abide by the law. You can't say that you are not technically equipped. If you say you are, 'get out of the market," Justice Mishra said.
The practice of sex selection and their advertisements is prohibited under the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PC-PNDT) Act, 1994. The law is aimed at preventing female foeticides and address the scourge of declining sex ratios in the country.