Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Video Conferencing Blocking Laws In India

Video conferencing has revolutionized the way our say to day affairs are managed. Video conferencing facilitates many important commercial and personal communications in a cost effective and efficient manner.

Obviously, video conferencing is regulated by laws of various nations. However, we have no dedicated video conferencing law in India. Of course, some shades of video conferencing regulations are governed by the cyber law of India incorporated in the form of information technology act 2000 (IT Act 2000).

However, there is no express provision that talks about blocking of video conferencing in India except to the extent permitted by the IT Act 2000. Video conferencing, just like other electronic communications, should be allowed unless it can be blocked as per the provisions of IT Act 2000 or other applicable laws. Even for such blocking of video conferencing in India, the norms established by the IT Act 2000 or any other similar law must be followed.

It seems the norms laid down by the IT Act 2000 have not been followed by the Rajasthan government and Rajasthan police and by not allowing the video conferencing of Salman Rushdie, without complying with the requirements of IT Act 2000, they have clearly transgressed the constitutional limitations that they are constitutionally bound to observe.

The fundamental right to speech and expression cannot be defeated through arbitrary and extraneous methods. Right to speech and expression can be curtailed only as per the well established constitutional procedure.

Although the intentions of Rajasthan government may be legal and justified yet the manner of executing those intentions is clearly unconstitutional. The legality and constitutionality of the Rajasthan government’s action is still doubtful and appropriate action must be taken in this regard.