Super Blogger and friend Vidyut Kale gets a take-down notice for exposing corruption #stopitrules


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A  Super blogger,  and a super duper  friend Vidyut Kale had written a post about the raid on the Belvedere yacht party, where she also exposed a history of financial misdealings by Lt Col (retd) Gautam Dutta and Anju Dutta of Marine Solutions, the url in question is  sailgate-the-party-that-wasnt. She has received a take down notice for her article being defamatory. She says that the IT Rules are so arbitrary that she has no chance to defend herself against the takedown, because no explanation or even verification of the premise of the take down notice being correct is required. Anyone getting the takedown noticeis legally required to take their content down within 36 hours or they lose protections as intermediaries.
While she is also the author, her position as the owner of the blog makes her vulnerable to these threats if her blog is to survive. She has no experience of fighting court cases, and can’t afford a lawyer, while the persons sending her the notice have a large law firm at their command. It is not defamation if her content is provable through RTI documents, but to prove it, she will have to violate the IT Rules, lose protection and fight several years in court – to save a post that exposes corruption in sailing on technicalities lawyers can exploit for people with the money to throw, while bloggers can be victimized out of any serious truth seeking by the simple virtue of not having enough money.
This is the same blogger that blogged to draw attention to the Keenan and Reuben murders when mainstream media had reported the story and let it go. Her efforts led to large scale media attention that helped the poor families get attention to their case and prevent the killers from going scot free. This can be verified by searching for Keenan and Reuben, and her blog - aamjanata.com is one of the top results. Two posts she did compiling news coverage was extensively refered to by others covering the case. She raised questions that were important to not be ignored.
She has also reported on and followed the case of Naina Singh’s dowry death, where the police were refusing to file an FIR. She created a group of people to support Naina’s mother as well as found local lawyers (Delhi) who would help her approach courts to get directions for filing an FIR. The FIR was filed five months after Naina Singh’s death.
She has blogged extensively on issues of national interest, freedom of speech and human rights.
In reporting stories from the RTI documents related to sailing scams she was again covering an area that is not big enough for mainstream media, but an important leak of money as well as integrity for the country. Not to mention the illegal practices around sailing making it a security risk through norms of “looking the other way”.
This blogger, who is a housewife and has little income is at serious risk of being attacked by a team of seasoned lawyers with money to burn. for daring expose corrupt practices. This is a very concerning sign for freedom of speech and whistle blowing in our country. Any media attention highlighting her situation and precarious situation of smaller content producers in India like bloggers, independent artists, cartoonists, etc and the role played by the IT Rules will go a long way in protecting their rights and drawing attention to their victimization.
MP P Rajeeve is moving a motion in the Rajya Sabha for the IT Rules to be annulled for being unconstitutional, but without appropriate attention, it may not happen or may be too late for many like her.

Please extend your support to her twitter–@vidyut

One comment on “Super Blogger and friend Vidyut Kale gets a take-down notice for exposing corruption #stopitrules

  1. Pingback: India: Blogger Gets A Take Down Notice For Exposing Corruption · Global Voices

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