Bowing to directives from Indian judiciary, Internet companies Facebook and Google say they have removed "objectionable" content, according to reports by BBC and AP.
Google India has removed Web pages deemed offensive to Indian political and religious leaders to comply with a court case that has raised censorship fears in the world's largest democracy, AP reported on Tuesday (7 Feb).
BBC reported that Google and Facebook told the court they had complied with an earlier order by a Delhi district court judge to take down certain material. Google said this step was in accordance with the company's longstanding policy of responding to court orders. Facebook India said it had also filed its compliance report.
"You don't deserve more time," was reportedly what a Delhi judge had told Internet giants like Google and Facebook on Monday. The judge gave 15 more days to the Internet companies under the court's scanner to remove objectionable material hosted on their sites.
A total of 22 Internet companies including Yahoo and Orkut are facing civil and criminal suits in Delhi. They have been accused of hosting material that may cause communal unrest. They have to submit in writing that they have deleted the content within 15 days given to them. The next court hearing is on 1 March.
The judge had threatened to block sites if they failed remove or filter offensive online material.
Late last year, Communications Minister Kapil Sibal met officials from Google, Facebook and other websites and said the government would introduce guidelines to ensure "blasphemous material" did not appear on the Internet, a BBC report added.
Top executives of the firms have been summoned to appear in court on 13 March, said a media report.