Lieutenant Colonel PK Choudhary approached Delhi High Court. He challenges the order of the Director-General of Military Intelligence on July 12. The order asks Indian Army personnel to delete all social media applications. It includes Facebook, Instagram, and 87 other platforms.
Facts of the Case
The petitioner PK Choudhary is currently posted in Jammu & Kashmir. On July 9, he found out through a news report about the General’s order to delete social media accounts by July 15. Due to this, the Petitioner may face difficulty to connect with his family living abroad.
The petition sought the court’s direction to cancel the June 6 policy of the Director-General. Policy necessitates all Army members to follow the orders of deleting social accounts.
Arguments before the Court
Advocate Shivank Singh represented Petitioner. Advocate claims that the ban violates various fundamental rights of the Petitioner. It includes the right to freedom of speech, expression, and the right to privacy. Also, the power to change the fundamental rights of the Army rests with the Parliament alone. On the contrary, Respondent here is not the Parliament.
He further contended that the policy violates Article 14 of the Constitution. Several members of the civil administration and political class get sensitive information. Yet, no restrictions on the use of social media apply to the said persons. Hence, putting a ban on a regular soldier is unfair.
Mr. Singh made a request to allow deactivation of the Facebook account instead of removal. As the deletion of the account will result in the permanent destruction of valuable data.
The Additional Solicitor General will appear for the respondents on July 21st. He will give arguments after the Court had examined the documents which have the policy.
The Division Bench of Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw and Justice Asha Menon noted that they will only go into the merits of the petition after also carefully pursuing the impugned policy.
The Court further held that: “The question of granting any interim relief does not arise especially when the matter has the potential of concerning the safety and security of the country”.
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