New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has dismissed a petition filed by an Army officer, challenging the Indian Army’s notification banning 89 applications including TikTok, WeChat, Facebook, Instagram, etc.
A divisional bench of Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw and Asha Menon, while pronouncing the judgment through video conferencing, said: “The impugned policy has not been issued impulsively, but is preceded by a prolonged study of different aspects and data collated in this regard with particular instances and deliberations at the highest level thereon and has been issued after considering similar bans imposed by other countries, on armed personnel.”
The petition stated that the soldiers are dependent upon social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram to deal with the issues of their families while they are posted in remote areas.
In this the court observed: “…the policy is,
(i) an outcome of constantly evolving intelligence of security threats and assessment of security safeguards needed;
(ii) to plug the gaps and meet the ever-threatening electronic and cyber infrastructure;
(iii) an outcome of the paradigm shift in the intelligence activities of hostile nations; increased popularity of various social media platforms; the vulnerability of unsuspecting military personnel;
(iv) necessitated by the directives, instructions and policies issued from time to time, advising the military personnel to regulate the use of social media websites, failing to meet the threat;
(v) virtual impossibility to keep track of lacs of online profiles or to identify the fictitious enemy profiles;
(vi) on assessment of the different modes adopted to honey trap, not necessarily in the conventional sense; and,
(vii) An outcome of the assessment of vulnerability of different social media platforms.”
The court dismissed the petition stating: “In the circumstances, no case for interference is made out.”
Read the judgment here;RSE05082020CW41812020_104605
-India Legal Bureau