ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles By Fundamental Rights

The IT Amendment Rules, 2023

The Information Technology Amendment Rules of 2023 grant the union government the authority to remove any online content pertaining to its business that it deems to be false or misleading. Under these rules, social media platforms and intermediaries will be deprived of the protection of the safe harbour principle if they fail to comply with government orders. The use of vague and broad wording “in respect of any business” raises concerns over its chilling effect on the right to freedom of speech and expression.

Demography, Democracy and Population Policies

Uttar Pradesh’s proposed bill to enforce a “two-child norm” tries to link state government jobs, local government positions and welfare to the two-child norm through a series of incentives and disincentives. With the communally tinged rhetoric around this bill gaining currency, it is necessary to revisit the Supreme Court’s controversial judgment in Javed v State of Haryana (2003) where such problematic provisions relating to panchayat elections were upheld.

 

The Fundamental Freedom to Migrate within India

The debate over migrant workers in recent times and their invisibility in government data and in policy discourse has led to a series of responses from state and central governments. While the number of returning migrants is lower in the second wave of Covid-19, nothing much has changed for the migrants on the ground. This past year has seen state governments, such as Haryana and Karnataka, move to give preference to “local” persons over migrants, even as a draft national migrant policy is under consideration. Is there a constitutional right to migrate within India? What, if any, are the duties cast upon governments and employers? These questions must be considered if the current migrant crisis is not to result in deprivation of the fundamental right to internal migration.

 

Downgrading the Status of Chief Information Commissioner

The right to information, much like the right to vote, is rooted in the same fundamental right, with the offices of the chief information commissioner and the chief election commissioner, respectively, operating at the same level of autonomy, towards the enforcement of these rights. The proposed amendments to the Right to Information Act, which reportedly seek to downgrade the status of the chief information commissioner and information commissioners, reduce the autonomy of this constitutional institution and are, consequently, an assault on the right to information and democracy.