The petition had sought a compensation of Rs 10 crore from Google towards the Department of Culture and Heritage, Government of Karnataka for tarnishing the dignity and significance of the Kannada language.
The Karnataka High Court Wednesday disposed of a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking to initiate legal action against Google India, after a query on the search engine for the “ugliest language in India” returned Kannada as the answer.
A division bench of Acting Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum noted in its order that the petitioner has contended that “some derogatory remark has been made in respect of Kannada language” on Google.
“The petitioner himself has filed copy of the newspaper clipping. The contention of the petitioner is that later on, Google India has tendered apology in the matter in terms of the content displayed on the website, assuring that such incidents will not take place in future,” the bench remarked.
In light of the apology, the court noted that “the learned counsel appearing for the petitioner at this stage prays for withdrawal of the petition with the liberty to take recourse to the other remedies available in law. The PIL is disposed of in the above terms.”
The petition was filed by Anti Corruption Council Of India Trust seeking directions to the Union and state government to initiate legal action against the search engine under the Indian Penal Code and Information Technology Act. It also sought a compensation of Rs 10 crore from Google towards the Department of Culture and Heritage, Government of Karnataka for tarnishing the dignity and significance of the Kannada language.
Google India had on June 3 issued an apology in Kannada on Twitter, which read, “Search isn’t always perfect. Sometimes, the way content is described on the internet can yield surprising results to specific queries. We know this is not ideal, but we take swift corrective action when we are made aware of an issue and are continually working to improve our algorithms. Naturally, these are not reflective of the opinions of Google, and we apologise for the misunderstanding and hurting any sentiments.”
— With inputs from Bar and Bench
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