Anuradha Bhasin v/s Union of India

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Anuradha Bhasin v/s Union of India

Recently, the Supreme Court has ordered compliance of the guidelines laid down in the Anuradha Bhasin case.

  • The Court has issued a notice to the Government to implement the directions given in the Anuradha Bhasin case.
  • In the Anuradha Bhasin case (2020), the suspension of mobile, landline and internet services as well as restrictions on movement in certain areas in the State of Jammu and Kashmir at the time of abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution was challenged.

Directions proposed in the Anuradha Bhasin case:

  • The order under the Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergencies and Public Safety) Rules, 2017 to suspend internet services indefinitely is unwarranted.
  • Suspension can only be used for a temporary period.
  • Any order suspending the Internet issued under the Suspension Rules must follow the ‘principle of proportionality’. Also, this suspension should not be extended beyond the necessary period.
  • Any order to suspend the Internet is subject to judicial review under the suspension rules.
  • Additionally, the Court also held that freedom of speech and expression and freedom of trade and commerce through the Internet are constitutionally protected rights under Article 19 (1) (A) and Article 19 (1) (G) respectively. .

Provisions related to internet shutdown in India –

  • At present, suspension of telecom services (including internet shutdown) is governed by the Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergencies and Public Safety) Rules, 2017. These rules have been notified under the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885.
  • The 2017 rules provide for temporary shutdown of telecom services in an area on the grounds of public emergency. In this, telecom services can be stopped only for 15 days at a time.

Source – Live Law

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