Comply with orders or face blocking by MEITY, Delhi HC warns domain name registrars

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has cautioned domain name registrars (DNRs) against non-compliance with judicial orders, warning them that failure to follow directives regarding actions against illegal online activities may lead to being “blocked” by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY).

A division bench of Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Mini Pushkarna stated that DNRs must not serve as instruments for syndicating scams and urged them to remain vigilant in preventing the misuse of well-known trademarks for illegal and fraudulent activities on registered websites.

The court was dealing with a suo moto case addressing the misuse of trademarks through fraudulent websites and examining the role of DNRs in such scenarios.

The court said that if DNRs wish to conduct business in India, they must adhere to the laid-down guidelines. It asserted the need for a mechanism to ensure compliance, particularly in cases involving the misuse of trademarks leading to online scams and fraud.

“We can’t allow millions to be cheated. Some serious matter is going on here,” the bench said.

It noted the substantial business magnitude for DNRs in the country but cautioned against becoming “scam units.”

While noting the challenges in altering the international system, the court stressed its authority in India, stating that MEITY could be instructed to block DNRs that fail to comply with the established norms. It called for an end to repeated cases filed by affected parties and urged DNRs to proactively prevent the registration of offending domains.

The court has now listed the matter for heating next on January 9.


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