HC rejects to hear plea against telecom services

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday declined to entertain a plea alleging arbitrary and illegal disruption of telecom services in parts of the national capital during the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act.

A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar dismissed the PIL filed by 'Software Freedom Law Centre' as Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, appearing for the Centre, said the disruption, enforced only for four hours on December 19, was no longer in effect.

The law officer also denied that any rule was violated in the issuance of the direction for prohibition of telecom services.

The court, however, said anyone aggrieved by the prohibition of telecom services can file a suit for damages for any loss suffered by disruption of services related to voice call, SMS and internet.

The petitioner claimed that the order for prohibition of telecom services in Delhi was issued by a Deputy Commissioner of Police and not the Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) who is the competent authority to issue such a direction.

This was in violation of the Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency or Public Safety) Rules, 2017, it claimed, adding the right to access the internet is a part of right to education and right to privacy.

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