India has seen a steep rise in the number of Internet shutdowns over the last few years. At SFLC.in, we have been tracking such instances of Internet shutdowns – see our dynamic Internet Shutdown Tracker at internetshutdowns.in for details. These shutdowns are generally imposed under the authority of orders issued by State Governments under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, blocking mobile and/or fixed line Internet services for different reasons.
In May 2016, we filed applications under Right to Information Act, 2005 seeking, amongst other details, copies of the orders that sanctioned Internet shutdowns in Haryana in February 2016. In response to the applications and the information sought, we received the following information:
- Copies of orders issued under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, by the District Magistrates of Jind, Hisar and Bhiwani, ordering the stoppage of the Internet services, and
- Copies of orders issued by the District Magistrates of Jind and Hisar, allowing for restoration of Internet services.
These orders are reproduced below: