Apar Gupta (for Info only, not official)

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Apar Gupta

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    ... As the year draws to a close, Freedom House’s annual report on internet freedom points to a growing concern. At first glance, there is reason for cheer as India has maintained its score of 41 out of 100 (the score works on an inverted scale) and a rating of, “partly free”. However, this is deceptive, for the two reasons which are marked as positive trends for an open internet somewhat counterintuitively show continuing government efforts to undermine digital rights. The first positive can be attributed to the comprehensive methodology of the report, which allocates a quarter of its points for improvement and deepening of access. The Union government, as well as the Telecom Regulatory Authority, are to be commended for bringing the internet to more Indians. ...

    Indian Express on Dec. 11, 2017, 12:09 a.m.

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    ...These messages and calls have only increased in frequency. This re-verification requires a user to visit a telecom service centre, undergo biometric authentication by putting their fingerprints on an authentication device, and hope that the details in the Aadhaar database match with their cellular connection. This exercise has led to anxiety, irritation and even anger for a large number of people. These include those who still may not have enrolled for Aadhaar, some willing to link it due to privacy concerns, another set whose biometrics are rejected or details do not match and much more who are tired of standing in lines to link their Aadhaar to another essential service. ...

    Indian Express on Sept. 25, 2017, 12:15 a.m.

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    ...One of the lowest points in the history of the Indian Supreme Court has been when during the proclamation of Emergency, it refused to enforce fundamental rights. By its decision in ADM Jabalpur v. Shivakant Shukla the court agreed with the government to suspend fundamental rights thereby permitting it to hold people in detention, without any opportunity to move court. More importantly, it gave wide police powers to the government to pursue state interests at the cost of fundamental rights. This very tension between the government and the individual came into play in the right to privacy hearings which have delivered a historic judgement. The right to privacy was a constitutionally accepted and applied right recognised by an interpretative device of the Supreme Court since 1975. ...

    Indian Express on Aug. 25, 2017, 12:21 a.m.

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    ...One reason for the controversy surrounding the Aadhaar project is the pending litigation against it in the Supreme Court. The cases draw on substantive critiques, including exclusion and deprivation caused by the usage of Aadhaar in provisioning essential services such as the PDS and MGNREGA, breaches of individual privacy and threats to national and individual security in the way the project has been conceived and implemented. Such concerns are not pure policy matters but interact with constitutionally protected fundamental rights, including Articles 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution. The Supreme Court has passed a series of interim orders to prohibit the imposition and limit the application of Aadhaar. ...

    Indian Express on Jan. 13, 2017, 12:02 a.m.

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    ...Each such direction carries the force of law and the possibility of proceedings for contempt of court or a prosecution under the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971. This order has been stated by some to be an act of judicial overreach, a comment that requires deeper examination. Negative sentiments are often expressed about the court’s inefficiency and lack of transparency. These are used to buttress a larger institutional objection to the courts disturbing a constitutional balance by passing judgements that take the colour of legislation or executive determinations. The national anthem directions, with good reason, are taken as an instance to support and sustain such sentiments. ...

    Live Mint on Dec. 2, 2016, 1:47 a.m.

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    ...A new report from the Center for Technology and Innovation at the Brookings Institute shows that India and Iraq share the dubious position of reporting the highest number of incidents involving government mandated shutdown of internet access. In fact, India joins Algeria, Iraq and Uganda in the list of countries where internet services has been suspended even on the grounds of preventing potential cheating in exams. Figures released recently by the Centre for Communication Governance at National Law University, Delhi, indicate that 11 Indian states have forced 37 internet shutdowns in the past two years. This trend is corroborated by tracker data maintained by the Software Freedom Law Centre India. ...

    Indian Express on Oct. 26, 2016, 12:13 a.m.

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    ...Here, the publishers who claim a copyright over this literature have alleged that the concerned photocopy shop made course packs of these copyrighted materials and then sold it to students at a fraction of the cost, without paying them royalties.The implications of the case are tremendous, given that any determination in this case will have a precedential value impacting course packs sold to students all over the country.The litigation, as originally filed in the Delhi High Court, only concerned the publishers as the plaintiffs and the Delhi University and photocopy shop owner as the defendants.Even though the students who were the primary beneficiaries of such course packs would be directly affected by the result of the litigation, they were not made a party to the case, either individually or as a group. ...

    Indian Express on May 18, 2013, 12:24 a.m.