- Twitter had restored suspended accounts after a period citing reasons such as freedom of speech
- Haryana government lifted internet curbs in Panipat and Charkhi Dadri district
- Internet connectivity will remain shut in districts around the dharna sites in Haryana
TAD NewsDesk, New Delhi: On February 3, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology government declared that it may file an FIR against Twitter for violating the Ministry’s guidelines by restoring suspended Twitter accounts. Further, the Ministry warned that if the social media platform did not comply with directions to block accounts and tweets that threaten law and order it may take action.
In the notice issued by the MEITy that freedom of speech can not allow tweets with the hashtag ‘Modi-PlanningFarmerGenocide’, as it would be considered incitement to genocide.
The Ministry noted that Twitter is obliged to follow the government’s instructions under Section 69(A) of the Information Technology (IT) Act, failing which it could face penal action and said, “Incitement to genocide is not freedom of speech… it is a threat to law and order”.
In response, Twitter wrote that the platform had followed the interim order by the ministry but later restored, citing free speech and “newsworthiness”.
According to Section 69(A), the central government is authorised to direct an intermediary to block public access to any information to prevent incitement of any cognisable offence relating to public order. Moreover, the intermediaries are legally bound to follow the order and the statutory provisions are a manifestation of “settled global jurisprudence”.
Additionally, the MeitY has again directed Twitter to block the accounts and posts immediately. To justify the constitutionality of its directions, the MeitY notice cited various Supreme Court judgments on public order and the rights of authorities.
In another attempt to curb the dissenting voices of farmers and protesters, the Haryana government has suspended mobile internet in five districts of the state till 5 pm on February. However, on February 3, the government lifted mobile internet curbs in Panipat and Charkhi Dadri.
The government cited reasons such as “public order” to justify the restrictions.
Nevertheless, the state government has extended the suspension of mobile internet services (2G/3G/4G/CDMA/GPRS), SMS services (only bulk SMS) and all dongle services provided on mobile networks in five districts such as Kaithal, Jind, Rohtak, Sonipat and Jhajjar till 5 pm on February 4.
Further, the government has clarified that any person who will be found guilty of violation of the order will be held answerable in court.
Condemning the attack on freedom of speech and the basic rights of citizens, various opposition parties observed that this action would affect the upcoming final exams of students.
Source – Live Mint