Khaja Azhar Uddin v. Union of India

The Cyber Blog IndiaCase Summary

Khaja Azhar Uddin v. Union of India

Khaja Azhar Uddin v. Union of India
In the High Court of Telangana
WP 10507/2020
Before Justice A Rajasheker Reddy
Decided on July 20, 2020

Relevancy of the case: Writ petition against the ban on TikTok app

Statutes and Provisions Involved

  • The Information Technology Act, 2000 (Section 69A)
  • The Constitution of India, 1950 (Article 14, 19(1), 21)

Relevant Facts of the Case

  • The petitioner filed a writ petition of mandamus to quash the Government’s interim order to ban the TikTok app.
  • The petitioner contended that the government’s action was allegedly illegal, arbitrary, violative of fundamental rights and against the principles of natural justice.

Prominent Arguments by the Advocates

  • The petitioner’s counsel argued that the notification to ban the app does not provide valid reasons according to Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000. Also, the ban is adversely affecting the petitioner’s right to equality and freedom of speech and expression. Moreover, the petitioner has a locus standi to maintain the writ petition as the government’s action infringed his fundamental rights.
  • The respondent’s counsel submitted that banning an app does not infringe any citizens’ fundamental rights as they did it in the interests of the security and sovereignty of the country. The fundamental right and freedom of speech and expression through any app or TV channel cannot be enforced by the petitioner’s will.

Opinion of the Bench

  • The petitioner failed to answer the question of what was his locus standi to maintain this writ petition. It is difficult and unreasonable to give notice to every app user as they did it in the interest of the security and sovereignty of the country.
  • Likewise, the act of banning a newspaper or TV channel does not violate any fundamental rights of the petitioner. Therefore, they did not provide a valid explanation for citing Shreya Singhal v. Union of India and how it was relevant in this case.

Final Decision

  • Writ petition dismissed.

This case summary has been prepared by Shubhangi Gehlot, an undergraduate student at Law Faculty, Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, during her internship with The Cyber Blog India in May/June 2021.