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Sealed envelope reply: Delhi HC asks govt to clarify why Army men need to delete social media apps

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The Delhi High Court on Tuesday (July 14) directed the central government to submit its response in a sealed envelope mentioning the policy under which Indian Army personnel were asked to delete their social media accounts.

The division bench, presided by Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw and Justice Asha Menon was hearing a petition filed by Lt. Col. P.K. Choudhary, challenging the Indian Army’s notification banning 89 applications including TikTok, WeChat, Facebook, Instagram, etc. through video conferencing.

The petition stated that the soldiers are dependent upon social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram to deal with the issues of their families while they are posted in remote areas.

The petition further submitted that on one side the government is planning to sensitize and train its officers for secured and proper use of social media and on the other side they are asking its officers to delete their social media accounts. Referring to this the petitioner stated that “Such Contradictions in the Policy are a testament to the non-application of mind while formulating the same.”

The Court has directed the central government to submit its policy in a sealed envelope under which the officers of the Indian Army are being asked to deactivate their social media accounts.

The matter is listed for July 21.  

The court, however, refused to entertain the plea for interim relief. 

The bench said that when it has not even found a reason yet to entertain the plea, “the question of granting any interim relief does not arise. Especially when the matter has the potential of concerning the safety and security of the country.”

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