Landmark Ruling of Calcutta Court against Internet Shutdown – UNESCO

The internet shutdown had been imposed under a suspension order, which only stated that it was issued on the basis of intelligence reports suggesting that the internet may be used for ‘unlawful activities’. During the legal proceedings, the Advocate General representing the West Bengal government, admitted that the internet shutdown was ordered to prevent cheating in secondary school examinations being conducted in the State. 

The Internet Freedom Foundation swiftly drafted and filed a petition before the Calcutta High Court, challenging the legality of the shutdown and emphasizing the internet’s role as a fundamental tool in exercising freedom of speech and access to information in the digital age.

The Calcutta Court found that the suspension order lacked legal authority and valid reasons and overlooked less restrictive alternatives. 

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