The highest judicial forum has concluded that the companies' search engines are violating Indian laws of sex determination tests and their advertising by hosting ads for tools, kits, and clinics that help determine the sex of a fetus.
Suggesting the companies leave India entirely, Supreme Court has asked the Central government and the intermediaries to set up a technical framework to prevent such forms of illegal advertising during routine searches.
“You have to do something about this [such ads on search engines]. This has become a social evil,” Justice Dipak Misra said. “You have to abide by the law. You can't say that you are not technically equipped. If you say you are, get out of the market.”
According to an Economic Times report, Counsels for the intermediaries tried to resist the court order, insisting that it was not technologically feasible to block all keywords involving such ads as it would inadvertently block out any content remotely connected to such word.
Senior advocate CA Sundaram, appearing for Google, said that as soon as any such ad pops up, the intermediary blocks it, but it was impossible to completely prevent them from coming up.
The practice of sex selection and their advertisements is prohibited in India under the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PC-PNDT) Act, 1994. The law is aimed at preventing female foeticides and address the issue of declining sex ratios in the country.