On 25 February 2021, the Government of India announced wide-ranging changes to its regulatory mechanisms for governing online speech. These changes, made as to the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, (“Intermediary Rules”) substantially alter the framework for the regulation of online platforms and their content moderation practices in India.
In late April, three officials of the Indian Revenue Service, out of their own volition, prepared and published a report titled ‘Fiscal Options and Response to COVID-19 Epidemic.’ The report proposed that the top marginal income tax rate for the super-rich who earn more than 1 crore annually be increased from 30 to 40%. It also proposed the introduction of a new wealth tax to fight the pandemic-caused economic crisis. The Union government initiated disciplinary proceedings against the officers and suspended them from service, alleging indiscipline.
Last month the Supreme Court in Anuradha Bhasin v. Union of India dealt with the issue of continued internet shut down in Kashmir. While the Court did not direct the restoration of internet services, it recognised the internet as a mode to exercise one’s fundamental rights. The judgment also addressed the freedom of press claim: even though it was not encoded in the Constitution, the judgment reiterated the fundamental right to freedom of the press within Article 19 (1) (a). While freedom of the press is not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution of India, 1950, there were longstanding demands to make it a part of the constitutional text.
Amisha Pareek, Board Member of National Constitution Society, reports on CLPR’s workshop on Constitutional History and Freedom of Speech.
On 12th December 2018, the Centre for Law and Policy Research (CLPR) in collaboration with the Praja Foundation, conducted a 2-hour workshop on Indian Constitutional History at the Aatma Ram Sanathan Dharm College in New Delhi.