An army officer has approached Delhi High Court on Monday against centre government’s decision to prohibit the use of social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and 87 other apps. The matter is likely to be heard on Tuesday.
The petitioner has sought the Delhi High Court’s directions to the Director-General of Military Intelligence (DGMI) to withdrew its June 6, 2020 policy which directs all the army personnel to delete their accounts from the social networking sites like Facebook, Instagram, and 87 other applications by July 15.
Lieutenant Colonel PK Choudhary is currently posted in Jammu and Kashmir and has filed a petition through advocate Shivank Pratap Singh and Sanadika Pratap Singh. He had stated in his petition that he is an active user of Facebook and uses the social networking platform inter alia to stay in touch with his family and friends.
He sought the withdrawal of the June 6 policy and stated, “ensure that the fundamental rights of armed forces personnel are not abrogated amended or modified by arbitrary executive action which is not backed by the mandate of law, offends the provisions of the Army Act and Rules made thereunder and is unconstitutional.”
He considered the ban on social media platforms by the army personnel unenforceable, illegal, and unconstitutional. The plea also mentioned that such a ban will amount to the abrogation of the soldier’s fundamental rights including the right to freedom of speech and expression, and the right to privacy.
While supporting his point, Chaudhary stated, “The petitioner has used his Facebook account responsibly in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Indian Army from time to time and has never shared any classified or sensitive information pertaining to his role and duties as an Indian Army officer over Facebook or any other social networking platform.”
The banned app includes dating apps like Tinder, OkCupid and Couch Surfing. The policy also prohibits the use of such apps which they consider are of no use of army personnel including messaging platforms, video-hosting sites, gaming apps, and also some e-commerce options.