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Lt Col moves HC against apps ban

July 14, 2020 06:37 AM

COURTESY HT JULY 14

Lt Col moves HC against apps ban
HT Correspondent

letters@hindustantimes.com

New Delhi : A Lieutenant Colonel of the Indian Army on Monday approached the Delhi high court to challenge a move that bans armed forces officials from using social networking platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.

The petition, which is likely to be heard on Tuesday, sought the court’s direction to the Director General of Military Intelligence to withdraw the June 6 policy which ordered all members of the army to delete their accounts from Facebook, Instagram and 87 other applications.

Lieutenant Colonel PK Choudhary, who is currently posted in Jammu and Kashmir, said in the plea that he is an active user of Facebook and uses the platform to connect with his friends and family, as most of them are settled abroad, including his daughter.

In the petition, filed through advocates Shivank Pratap Singh and Sanandika Pratap Singh, the officer sought a direction to the central government through the defence ministry to withdraw its June 6 policy to “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”.

The plea said Choudhary found out through a July 9 news report about the army’s order requiring him and other personnel to delete Facebook, Instagram and 87 other applications by July 15.

On July 10, he received a letter titled “Policy On Use Of Social Media Platforms And Mobile Phones In IA” issued by the Director General of Military Intelligence, banning the use of 89 applications and websites and directed deletion the accounts, the plea said, adding that as the policy is classified as restricted, he was not reproducing any part of it in the plea.

Other than social networking websites, the banned services included dating apps such as Tinder, OkCupid and Couch Surfing. The social media apps that are a no-go area for soldiers include messaging platforms, video-hosting sites, gaming and dating apps, and also some e-commerce option

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