‘Don’t watch’: SC slaps ₹25K fine for demanding compensation for Youtube ads

The Supreme Court on Friday slapped a fine of 25,000 on a man who demanded compensation of 75 lakh from Google India stating that he could not clear a competitive examination because of explicit advertisements on the company-owned YouTube. Terming the petition as ‘atrocious’, the apex court said, ‘If you don’t like it, then don’t watch it.’

“You want damages because you saw advertisements on internet and you say because of that your attention was diverted and you could not clear the exam?” a bench of Justices S K Kaul and A S Oka asked the petitioner, who was appearing in person.

Apparently, the petitioner claimed that he was preparing for an examination and subscribed to YouTube where he saw advertisements containing alleged sexual content. He further demanded a ban on nudity on social media platforms.

Replying to that, the court said, “If you don’t like an advertisement, don’t watch it,” the bench said, adding, “Why he choose to watch the advertisements is his prerogative”.

It further stated, “It is one of the most atrocious petitions filed under Article 32 (of the Constitution),” the bench observed. “This kind of petitions are utter wastage of judicial time”.

Following this, the fine was slapped to make sure that people think twice before filing similar petitions.

Initially, the bench imposed a cost of 1 lakh on the petitioner while dismissing the plea. Later, the petitioner, who argued in Hindi, urged the top court to forgive him and remove the cost imposed. The petitioner also said that he is unemployed.

The bench said he can’t come just to the court and file such petitions only for publicity. “Make it 25,000,” the bench said, while reducing the cost from 1 lakh.

(With inputs from agencies)

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