In this era of rapid digitization and growing reliance on the Internet in areas
like as trade, business, security, communication, and education, among other
things, the topic of "internet access" as a basic right has arisen before Indian
The number of internet shutdowns in India has been steadily increasing. In 2019,
India's ranking in the "Freedom on the Net" report dropped for the fourth year
in a row. Arbitrary Internet shutdowns are a result of exacerbated
infrastructural political efforts. development A large portion of our people is
denied access to the internet because of poverty.
Because of unequal internet access due to internet shutdowns or a lack of
facilities to offer access, large segments of the Indian populace are left
behind politically and socially. economically, This study also reveals that
existing literature in India on the "Right to Internet" does not solely link
this right to aspects of democracy and fundamental rights on the same level.
This paper will fill in the blanks.
Issues To Be Addressed
The underlying research seeks to analyse and answer the following questions:
- Should right to internet be considered as a fundamental right?
- What is the intensity of violation of right to internet in India?
- What other rights are interlinked to the right to internet?
- How are democracy and internet sides of the same coin?
Analyzing the questions and hypothesis of this project would draw us up to the
- Thoroughly understand the meaning of right to internet and other related
- Suggest creative methods by which the government can regulate its rules
and regulations to manage the right to internet
- Analyze the need for internet in the modern world
The internet is become the most common means of disseminating information. "That
the freedom of speech and expression includes freedom to propagate ideas, which
is provided by freedom of circulation of a publication, as publishing is of
little value without circulation," it was held in Romesh Thappar v. State of
Madras . This is further linked to the Indian Constitution's "right to
information" as an integral aspect of the "right to freedom of speech and
expression" under "article 19." It is widely assumed that a higher proclivity
for communication strengthens democracy's machinery and results in a more
empowered people�. 
Understanding the case of "Foundation for Media Professionals v. Union Territory
of Jammu and Kashmir" , where the imposition of slow internet through 2G
service in the valley of Jammu and Kashmir resulted in violations of "Right to
Health," "Right to Education," and other rights, demonstrates the broad scope of
the "Right to Internet." Though the Supreme Court of the country does not regard
"right to internet" to be a basic right, the Kerala High Court did in Faheema
Shirin R.K v. State of Kerala.
Any internet restriction must pass the "test of proportionality," and a blanket
ban on the internet in any region is only allowed if it is in the "interest of
India's sovereignty and integrity, the state's security, friendly relations with
foreign states, or public order for preventing incitement or commission of an
offence." Furthermore, a ban on the internet must be the "least restrictive
approach." A succession of judicial declarations, statutes, constitutional
application, and international treaties, such as the International Covenant on
Cultural and Political Rights, led to the emergence of the right to Internet in
In addition, this report will discuss how internet bans are enforced in India
under section 144 of the "Code of Criminal Procedure 1973" and Suspension
Emergency or Rule 2(1) of the "Temporary of Telecom Services (Public Safety)
Rules 2017." As a result, the focus of this article is on how the right to the
internet is a derived basic right that can be construed under other fundamental
rights, as well as how it is important in a democratic society.
The "United Nations" recommendation in Anuradha Bhasin v. Union of India raised
the right to internet to a basic right in India. It's worth noting that it's
drawn from Article 21 of the Constitution, much like "Privacy." Articles 21, 19,
and 21A all contribute to the right to the internet. Furthermore, restricting
internet access should only be considered if no other option is available. The
right to the internet is defined as (1) the capacity to access it and (2) the
availability of it.
Right To Internet:
A Fundamental Right
Right to internet as per the article 21
In the case of Mohini Jain v. State of Karnataka
, it was held that
under Article 21A of the Constitution, education must not be confined to the
higher strata of the society only and is a fundamental right, to which every
citizen is entitled. This is relevant when it comes to the applicability of
right to internet because in the case of Faheema Shirin v. State of Kerala
, the court held that internet is used by students to "Download e-books, take
online courses offered by the government, browse news to acquire knowledge and
propagate progressive ideas". This case was a landmark case as the Kerala High
Court elevated right to internet as a fundamental right here.
The directive principles enshrined in Articles 38, 39, 41 and 45 that form a
part of Article 19 and 21 cannot be fulfilled without ensuring access to modern
technology and right to education. Additionally, in the case of Anuj Garg v.
Hotel Association of India , the court declared that the young generation
must be equipped with modern technologies in order to facilitate progress.
Right to internet under article 19
A right bestows rights on an individual, and its violation might result in legal
ramifications. "Digital India" is becoming a reality because to government
initiatives such as Bharat Net, which promises to give broadband connectivity to
even the most rural areas. The internet has opened up new gateways for people
to perform their trades and professions online.
As a result, as the case of Foundation for Media Professionals v. Union
Territory of Jammu and Kashmir demonstrated
, residents' access to the
internet is a requirement for achieving the "Freedom to perform any trade,
profession, occupation, or business" granted by the Constitution's "Article
19(1)(g)." As a result, when the government implemented a "blanket ban" on the
Internet in the Jammu and Kashmir valley, it violated residents' rights under
Article 19(1). (g). 
A Democratic Right
The Analysis of Anuradha Bhasin v. Union of India
The case of Anuradha Bhasin v. Union of India
 must be examined in
order to determine when the internet can be shut down through legal means. In
this case, petitioners challenged orders imposing a blanket ban on the Internet
in the Valley of Jammu and Kashmir following the abrogation of Article 370,
which was enacted in response to threats to India's security and integrity.
The petitioners said that their "Right to Education," "Freedom of Speech and
Expression," "Freedom to Carry on Business," and "Right to Information" were all
violated. The court ruled that online terrorism is a new type of terrorism that
can be used to spread misinformation and plot acts that undermine public order
and security. The "Right to Internet" was declared a "Fundamental Right" in this
case, but it, like other fundamental rights, is not absolute.
The blanket ban appeared to be ineffective because not all regions in the
contested area were "Dangerous zones" and so did not require such a ban. If a
restriction on a Fundamental Right is made without a rational connection between
the restriction and the goal of the restriction, the restriction becomes
arbitrary and violates Article 14 of the Constitution.
In the case of Sabu Mathew George v. Union of India
, the court upheld
that, "The right to be informed and the right to know and the feeling of
protection of expansive connectivity is guaranteed under the Constitution". The
role of internet to inform citizens was highlighted in Maneka Gandhi v. Union of
India , where Internet was accepted as a "limitless phenomenal to gather,
transmit and receive information". Therefore, in order to ensure right to
information of citizens which is guaranteed under Article 19(1)(a) of the
citizens, "Right to internet" of the citizens has to be protected.
In the case of PUCL v. Union of India
, it was determined that under
Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution, every citizen has the right to freely
express his or her thoughts, opinions, and ideas in writing. This right includes
the right of an individual to criticise the government's policies on the
Internet, which has been questioned multiple times over the years.
As a result, the Internet can be viewed as a virtual facilitator of discussion
that allows people to exercise their "Right to Know" and make decisions in a
participatory democracy. People have recently turned to the internet to
highlight the flaws in their regime, and governments have responded by blocking
their access to the internet in order to hide their catastrophic miscalculations
and political gimmicks.
The Internet's multifaceted utility in modern times is obvious in Indian courts,
and it has influenced judicial decisions. The understanding of fundamental
rights must be widened to reflect changes as time passes and as
"Techno-commercialization" and "Techno-capitalism" emerge. The "Right to the
Internet" is not a new right, but rather an extension of existing fundamental
rights. The digital communication network is today regarded as a symbol of
discussion and communication, which is at the heart of democracy.
Public authorities, as defined in section 2(h) of the "Right to Information Act,
2005," have an obligation to make information available to the public. This
information is currently released on websites that are subsequently spread on
online media houses due to the presence of people online. These speeds up the
flow of information and guarantees that everyone has access to it.
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