Tanul Thakur has said his site dowry calculator was launched in 2011 "as a satirical comment on the existing state of dowry demand in India".
The petition has claimed the website was designed as an online form that visitors could fill up with options from drop-down menus, on social, educational and personal characteristics of a groom, to arrive at a "fictional dowry amount" that he could attract.
It has further claimed that the choices in drop down menus "were meant to parody societal mores across India for marital desirability, such as an emphasis on fair skin colour".
"Upon submitting the form, the site offered one of nine pre-designed fictional dowry amounts, coupled with a satirical message that ridiculed emphasis on dowry in society and how it could cause extreme financial hardship upon bride's family," the petition has said.
Thakur has contended his site functioned without any hitch from May 2011 to May 2018, when a prominent politician expressed discontent with his website on social media platforms and called on the then WCD minister to take action.
Subsequently, the WCD minister wrote to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) to ban the website and in Sep 2018, access to the site was blocked by all internet service providers.
The petitioner has claimed that through an application under Right to Information Act he came to know why his site was blocked as no notice was issued to him and even the order to block the website was not communicated to him.
Thakur has termed the action taken by the government "arbitrary, excessive and unconstitutional" and claimed it "unreasonably restricts his right to freedom of speech and expression and the public's right to know".
Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.
As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.
Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.