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Here’s why Gauhati HC rejected the interim plea against internet shutdown in Assam

While the plea for an interim stay on Assam’s recent internet shutdowns orders was quashed, this method for preventing cheating can be examined by the court

What’s the news: Gauhati High Court rejected the plea for an interim order on an Assam government notification that enforced a temporary suspension of mobile internet connectivity during government recruitment exams. The notification had met with severe criticism for leaving some districts without mobile internet for four hours on August 21 and August 28. For the duration of the exams over the last two Sundays, 24 districts in Assam could not avail internet services. MPs like Nagaon’s Pradyut Bordoloi wrote to Chief Minister Himanta Biswa about the notification while a Raju Prosad Sarma approached the court. Hearing Sarma's plea, Justice Suman Shyam on August 26 said, “Keeping in mind that the disruption that may be caused in the holding of the examination fixed on August 28, if an interim order is passed at this stage suspending the impugned notification, I am not inclined to pass any interim order. This court is also of the view that the petitioner has failed to make out a case on facts in support of his prayer for interim relief.” Why it matters: Incidents of internet shutdowns have been growing in India. The country has recorded the highest number of internet shutdowns for four consecutive years since 2018. In this month, similar suspensions occurred in Manipur and Kashmir. Although in this case the court has dismissed the need to stay the internet shutdown, it is important to understand the rationale used by the government that is different from the usual refrain of “security measures.” Govt…

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I'm interested in the shaping and strengthening of rights in the digital space. I cover cybersecurity, platform regulation, gig worker economy. In my free time, I'm either binge-watching an anime or off on a hike.

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