This research was co-authored by Shehla Rashid Shora and Anja Kovacs.
Over the past two years or so, news reports of people getting arrested for Facebook posts or tweets have managed to stir a public debate about laws governing the Internet in India. With the arrests of Ambikesh Mahapatra, Aseem Trivedi and Shaheen Dhada, the issue of criminalisation of online speech and expression has caught mainstream attention. But the shape and details of this phenomenon remain surprisingly underexamined. On which occasions does the application of criminal law stir controversies? Who are the actors involved in such cases? This study seeks to make a beginning to expanding our understanding of these under-researched issues in the Indian context, by examining in depth seven famous Indian cases in which criminal law has controversially been drawn on in an attempt to stifle free speech on the Internet.
30 Apr 2013