The Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (Meity) has issued an order to Wikipedia, directing the non-profit website to take down a map depicting the “Aksai Chin” region as a part of People’s Republic of China.
Wikipedia is a US-based non-profit company, which is a repository of information compiled by volunteers all across the world. The Wikipedia page containing the controversial map on the topic of India-Bhutan relations.
MeitY Secretary Ajay Sawhney issued the order on November 27, 2020 by exercising the power vested by Section 69A of IT Act. The order further reads that the content posted on Wikipedia was done so with the intent to defame and potentially disturb the sovereignty and harmony of the nation.
Section 69A grants the Union Government the power to issue directions for blocking for public access of any information through any computer resource. (1) Where the Central Government or any of its officer specially authorized by it in this behalf is satisfied that it is necessary or expedient so to do, in the interest of sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign states or public order or for preventing incitement to the commission of any cognizable offence relating to above, it may subject to the provisions of sub-section (2) for reasons to be recorded in writing, by order, direct any agency of the Government or intermediary to block for access by the public or cause to be blocked for access by the public any information generated, transmitted, received, stored or hosted in any computer resource. (2) The procedure and safeguards subject to which such blocking for access by the public may be carried out shall be such as may be prescribed. (3) The intermediary who fails to comply with the direction issued under sub-section (1) shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years and shall also be liable to fine.