The roundtable will briefly discuss the Shreya Singhal judgment, followed by a discussion with the various people including lawyers, academics, activists, journalists and other individuals who were involved in the long campaign towards this verdict. It will also discuss the consequences of the judgment for other regressive free speech laws such as the Indian Penal Code’s criminalization of defamation.
The hope is that the discussion will include ideas about how we can better work towards a liberal body of free speech law whether online or offline in the wake of the Shreya Singhal judgment. This should include long-term environment as well as more immediate outlook like ways in which we may all effectively contribute to the cases affecting online content that are pending before the Supreme Court, and help the government reframe the procedure suggested by the Cyber Regulation Advisory Committee.
The gathering will also be used to consider the importance of net neutrality in India, and the consequences for the information sphere if the current unregulated state prevails. One way to do this would be to reflect on the international experience with net neutrality legislation and discuss how best the concerns of ensuring an innovative and competitive environment for business, and ensuring that they prioritize the preservation of their users’ human rights can best be reflected in laws.