Earlier, Supreme Court lawyer Tasmiyah Nuhia Ahmed filed a writ petition seeking directions to remove from the online platform all images and videos that violate the privacy rights of various people, including actress Pori Moni, JKG Health Care chairman Sabrina Arif Chowdhury and college student Musharrat Jahan.
The comments and observations made by the court here are very important. Everyone has the right to privacy, as recognized in the constitution. Legal steps must be taken against anyone who promotes such defamatory action. This is not just for personal gain. Such slander is often used against people of different religions and ethnic groups. We have seen horrific consequences of defamation in the incidents of Ramu and Nasirnagar
Earlier, a writ petition was filed in the High Court over a report by Al Jazeera. BTRC then removed it. But BTRC turned a blind eye to the other instructions made in that verdict. That is why the court had to intervene again. The matter of privacy was brought during the case of Al Jazeera, too. In this case, the role of BTRC and the government is contradictory.
If any pictures, reports or videos of any person or persons of the government are published that violate their privacy, they are immediately removed. No such action is seen in case the victim is a common man. Enforcement of legal actions cannot be selective. It must be equal for all. How and with whose help these pictures and videos go viral should also be investigated.
Defamatory publicity using modern technology is more or less common in all countries. It is prevalent in Bangladesh, too. The difference is that in other countries, the organisation has to be held accountable and punished.
There is no punishment and accountability in our country. The digital security act that the government has enacted to prevent defamation is being used to silence dissent and the media instead of protecting personal privacy. We hope that after this reprimand of the court, the BTRC officials will be aware of their responsibilities.