Parul  Madaan

Internet Access is a Fundamental Right, Rules Supreme Court

Parul Madaan 11 Jan 2020 4:26pm

Internet Access is a Fundamental Right, Rules Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has ruled that the freedom of speech, expression and conducting business online on the internet are fundamental right under Article 19 of the Indian Constitution and subject to reasonable restrictions. The decision is in line with the recommendation of the United Nations that every nation should make Internet access a fundamental right.

The ruling came to hear a plea in connection with Internet blockade in Jammu and Kashmir    since 5 August 2019 in view of the revocation of Article 370 in the Union Territory. These batches of pleas differed from another set of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the repeal of Article 370 being heard by a bench of five judges in the Constitution. On January 21 the bench will resume their hearing.

The court made it clear that the right to freedom of speech and expression includes the right to disseminate information as widely and as far as possible. The State cannot limit or refuse free speech on the Internet because the medium has an enormous impact and can spread information across a wide variety. With the advent of technology, the universal right of free speech and expression involves speech and expression over various media. Law has to understand the Internet's importance.

The Supreme Court, issuing another landmark judgment,  which ordered the Jammu and Kashmir to restore Internet services in institutions providing essential services, such as hospitals and educational sites, and to review all orders imposing curbs in the Union Territory within a week.

Tagged: #internetaccess#fundamentalright  
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