WhatsApp's challenge to intermediary guidelines in court is on solid grounds: Former Law Minister

·2-min read
Former Law Minister Ashwani Kumar speaking to ANI
Former Law Minister Ashwani Kumar speaking to ANI

By Amit Kumar

New Delhi [India], May 26 (ANI): Former Law Minister and senior Congress leader Ashwani Kumar on Wednesday said WhatsApp's challenge against the Centre's new intermediary guidelines in Delhi High Court is "based on solid grounds".

"WhatsApp's petition challenging the latest regulation of the government that impact the privacy of the communication is clearly based on solid grounds. As a student of the constitutional law, it is my considered view that any enforcement of law negatively impact or impinches upon the fundamental right of privacy would be held unconstitutional," Kumar told ANI.

"I say so rising above party political lines and purely as a student of constitutional law or lawyer," he added.

Kumar said there are ample judgements of Supreme Court which are now the declared law of the land which say categorically that any law that falls afoul at the right to privacy, falls also afoul right to dignity which is a right that stands at the pinnacle in the hierarchy of constitutional rights.

Under the recently notified Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021, social media intermediaries with more than 5 million users and providing messaging services will have to enable the identification of the first originator of problematic content that may harm the country's interests.

WhatsApp on Wednesday moved the Delhi High Court against the Centre's new guidelines that would require the messaging services to "trace" the origin of particular messages sent on the service.

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said earlier in the day that the government is committed to ensure the right of privacy to all its citizens but at the same time it is also the responsibility of the government to maintain law and order and ensure national security.

He also said that none of the measures proposed by India will impact the normal functioning of WhatsApp in any manner whatsoever and for the common users, there will be no impact. (ANI)