What’s the news: The Supreme Court on September 9 issued notice to the Indian government in a petition filed by the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) challenging the imposition of Internet shutdowns to prevent cheating in examinations in five states. Viewed by MediaNama, the SFLC plea detailed Internet shutdowns in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, and West Bengal. Advocate Vrinda Grover argued that the shutdown orders circulated in these regions did not comply with the guidelines issued in the Anuradha Bhasin v Union of India (2020) Supreme Court judgement. “Digital India is only possible because of the immense talent that India produces. We cannot have [the] world's leading companies be run by Indians while we continue shutting down the Internet. The SC and MEITY [Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology] are very clear that cheating in examinations is not a legal reason to bring our Digital lives to a standstill. We hope the courts will ensure our right to internet is respected as no rights can be negotiated without access.” — Mishi Choudhary, Founder of SFLC, in a press release. Accordingly, the Court impleaded the Union of India as a party respondent and asked it to clarify the standard protocol regarding the grievance raised and the extent of compliance thereto by states. The Centre is to file its reply within three weeks while the next hearing will take place after four weeks. Why it matters: While it is well-known by now that India records the highest number of Internet shutdowns globally, the…
Supreme Court Issues Notice to the Indian Government In Plea Challenging Internet Shutdowns for Exams
The PIL filed by SFLC at the Supreme Court challenges Internet shutdowns in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, and West Bengal.
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