Right to Internet under Article 21

The court underlined the importance of freedom of expression and speech, as it being integral to the fundamental right to life, liberty and to freedom of expression and speech. The court ruled that any restriction on the said rights needs to pass an extremely rigorous test prescribed by the Supreme Court in Shreya Singhal v. Union of India. However, the judgment is silent on provisions of privacy apart from Article 21 which deals with Right to Life and Liberty. Therefore, there are no guidelines or provision restricting the state/government’s ability to regulate access.

Thus, in our opinion, citizens can claim a right to privacy while accessing internet through their mobile devices within the ambit of Article 21 & 19 read with Article 14 as freedom is an essential precondition for free thought, free speech, free association and peaceful assembly .The judgment is a landmark one, because it recognizes a fundamental right to internet access, which was earlier not part of the constitution. This will now go into the interpretation of Fundamental Rights in Article 19 and 21. Functionally too, it simply means that if telecom service providers want to block someone’s internet by calling it a security concern, they will have to adhere to the tenets of Article 21 and take due process as required under law.The right to internet in Article 21 CPC was first recognized by Delhi High Court in February 2014. The significant difference between the two judgments is that prior to this judgment, right to internet was only available when there was a fundamental Right involved.

For example, if the government were deciding whether or not to retain emergency in a particular state, then a petitioner could have taken the government to task for its failure in making an effective alternate scheme available and then declare it as unjustifiable.

The Court would then consider the factors whether

(i) there is a legal basis for emergency,

(ii) whether there is a public emergency, and

(iii) whether the emergency is manifestly inappropriate.

The judgment is arguably the first authoritative exposition of the concept of fundamental right to internet in India. The judges identified that a lot has been happening in the global arena and India needs to keep abreast of these developments by identifying this right in its constitutional laws. The Supreme Court shall need to look into this judgment and give its verdict on whether a fundamental right is indeed being conferred on the citizens and whether this judgement is correct in it interpretation of Article 21, as well as under Articles 19 and 47.

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN PARTICIPATING IN THE SAME, DO LET ME KNOW.

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The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.

If you would also like to contribute to my website, then do share your articles or poems at secondinnings.hr@gmail.com

In the year 2021, we wrote about 1000 Inspirational Women In India, in the year 2022, we would be featuring 5000 Start Up Stories.


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