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The right to internet is not fundamental, services can be cut, says the government | India News

NEW DELHI: The Union’s law and communication minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad, justified Thursday the interruption of internet services to maintain law, order and national security, and said that the right to the internet is not fundamental. He said that the right to expression is subject to reasonable restrictions as provided in the Constitution.

Responding to a question about whether the Internet is a fundamental right based on a recent observation by the Supreme Court, Prasad said there is a misconception that needs to be clarified. He said that the decision to stop internet services is taken by local authorities taking into account the situation of law and order.

Although he did not specify how many times such measures have been taken, the sources said there were more than 700 cases since 2017. In one case alone, the Center had interrupted Internet services in Delhi, since the Center is responsible for the law and order in the UT.

Sources said Internet services moved to several states, including Maharashtra, West Bengal, Gujarat, Punjab, northeastern states, the former state of J&K and Uttar Pradesh.

During Question Hour in Rajya Sabha, Prasad said that the communication of ideas and opinions through the Internet is part of the fundamental right to speech and expressions. “The SC has stated that no lawyer argued that the right to the internet is a fundamental right. What the higher court has commented is that for the communication of its ideas and opinions, the use of the internet will also have a part of its fundamental right to speech and expression, “said Prasad. He said no one can deny internet abuse for spreading violence and terrorism, and Pakistan has been doing so in Kashmir.

“Once the SC has announced that the use of the Internet to propagate one’s opinion and ideas will be considered a fundamental right and I would like to point out … this will also be subject to reasonable restrictions … by public order, security and integrity of India, “he added.

Times of India