wordpress blog stats
Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Internet Suspension Hurts Citizens’ Right to Information and Communication: Plea in Punjab & Haryana High Court

The Haryana Government had ordered the suspension of mobile internet services and bulk SMS services (excluding banking and mobile recharge) in seven districts of the State, from 6 am on February 11 until 11:59 pm on February 13

A resident of Haryana has filed a plea at the Punjab & Haryana High Court against the suspension of mobile internet services and other actions by the State authorities in view of the farmers protests, Bar & Bench reported on February 12, 2024. The petitioner and advocate at the HC, Uday Pratap Singh, has urged the Court to pass an urgent interim order to stay all “obstructive actions” undertaken by the governments of Haryana, and Punjab, and the Union government against the farmers protests demanding legal guarantee for Minimum Support Price (MSP).

To restrict communication about the proposed ‘Dilli Chalo’ march on February 13, the Haryana Government had ordered the suspension of mobile internet services and bulk SMS services (excluding banking and mobile recharge) in seven districts of the State, from 6 am on February 11 until 11:59 pm on February 13. The internet suspension is imposed in Ambala, Kurukshetra, Kaithal, Jind, Hisar, Fatehabad, and Sirsa districts of Haryana.

Why it matters: The Haryana government has imposed mobile internet restrictions under the “apprehension” that the farmers’ march will pose a danger to public life and property. This indicates that the government has taken to internet restriction as a preventive measure, without any substantial evidence of misinformation or “inflammatory material” that could affect public order. Such actions restrict legitimate information, especially during a major social and political movement, and adversely impacts people’s access to readily available means of communication, thereby limiting their freedom of speech and expression. In view of the plea filed at the Punjab & Haryana HC, it is for the Court to now decide whether the measure undertaken by the government is a proportionate one and in accordance with the constitutional provisions.

‘Depriving citizens of their right to information and communication’

The plea, shared by Bar & Bench and reviewed by MediaNama, argued that the internet suspension “restricts the movement of individuals and inhibits their ability to access information, thus impeding their right to assemble and protest peacefully”.

The petitioner has also underlined that the obstructive actions, including internet shutdown, violates citizens’ fundamental rights guaranteed under Articles 19(1)(a) and 21 of the Constitution of India, particularly regarding the right to freedom of speech and expression, the right to assemble peacefully, and the right to life and personal liberty.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

“The actions of the Haryana authorities, including the suspension of mobile internet services and bulk SMS in several districts, such as Ambala, Kurukshetra, Kaithal, Jind, Hisar, Fatehabad, and Sirsa, further exacerbate the situation, depriving the citizens of their right to information and communication,” the plea noted.

The road blockade in addition to the imposition of the Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) in Ambala and Kaithal districts, the petitioner stated, “demonstrates a concerted effort” by the State to stifle democratic expression and suppress dissent.

“The suspension of telecommunications services not only curtails the citizens’ ability to exercise their democratic rights but also hinders their day-to-day activities, including access to essential services and communication with their families and communities,” the petitioner added.

Also Read:


STAY ON TOP OF TECH NEWS: Our daily newsletter with the top story of the day from MediaNama, delivered to your inbox before 9 AM. Click here to sign up today!


 

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.
Written By

Curious about the intersection of technology with education, caste and welfare rights. For story tips, please feel free to reach out at sarasvati@medianama.com

Free Reads

News

The service from the tie-up will initally be launched at Bengaluru, Bhubaneswar, Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam railway stations

News

The Minister's response came after an X user posted answers generated by Gemini regarding Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

News

Vaishnaw said that in the next five years, there will be significant disruptions in the way telecom technology operates.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

Views

News

Notably, Indus Appstore will allow app developers to use third-party billing systems for in-app billing without having to pay any commission to Indus, a...

News

The existing commission-based model, which companies like Uber and Ola have used for a long time and still stick to, has received criticism from...

News

Factors like Indus not charging developers any commission for in-app payments and antitrust orders issued by India's competition regulator against Google could contribute to...

News

Is open-sourcing of AI, and the use cases that come with it, a good starting point to discuss the responsibility and liability of AI?...

News

RBI Deputy Governor Rabi Shankar called for self-regulation in the fintech sector, but here's why we disagree with his stance.

You May Also Like

News

Google has released a Google Travel Trends Report which states that branded budget hotel search queries grew 179% year over year (YOY) in India, in...

Advert

135 job openings in over 60 companies are listed at our free Digital and Mobile Job Board: If you’re looking for a job, or...

News

By Aroon Deep and Aditya Chunduru You’re reading it here first: Twitter has complied with government requests to censor 52 tweets that mostly criticised...

News

Rajesh Kumar* doesn’t have many enemies in life. But, Uber, for which he drives a cab everyday, is starting to look like one, he...

MediaNama is the premier source of information and analysis on Technology Policy in India. More about MediaNama, and contact information, here.

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ

Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Name:*
Your email address:*
*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ