DELHI HC DISMISSES CHALLENGE TO ORDER DIRECTING INDIAN ARMY PERSONNEL TO DELETE SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNT
The Delhi High Court on 5th August, 2020 dismissed a petition challenging the order directing Indian Army personnel to delete accounts from social networking platforms like Facebook and Instagram (Lt Col PK Choudhary v. Union of India).
The order was pronounced by a Division Bench of Justices Rajiv Sahai Endlaw and Asha Menon in the petition preferred by Indian Army Officer, Lt Col PK Choudhary.
In his petition before the Court, the Petitioner had submitted that he was an active user of Facebook and that he used the platform to connect with his friends and family when he was posted in remote locations.
The Petitioner contended that the ban on the use of social networking platforms violated his Fundamental Rights, including the right to freedom of speech and expression and the right to privacy. Since the policy was not a law passed by virtue of Article 33 of the Constitution, the provisions under it could not modify or amend the fundamental rights of soldiers, it was said. Apart from a direction to the authorities to withdraw the ban, a declaration was also sought to the effect that the Director-General of Military Intelligence was not empowered under the Constitution or under any other law to modify, amend or abrogate the fundamental rights of the armed forces.
Last month, the Court had refused to grant any interim relief to the Petitioner since the matter had the potential of concerning the safety and security of the country.
The Petitioner was represented by Advocate Shivank Pratap Singh.
ASG Chetan Sharma with Standing Counsel Ajay Digpaul appeared for Centre.
By: Sakshi Dev