President Droupadi Murmu Grants Assent to Telecom Bill Despite Digital Criticism

Navigating Controversy: Unpacking the Telecom Bill’s Impact on Democracy and Digital Freedoms

In a significant development, President Droupadi Murmu has granted her assent to the Telecom Bill, a move that follows its recent passage through both houses of Parliament. The official gazette order confirming the President’s approval was released, highlighting a notable decision in the face of ongoing criticism and concerns raised by digital rights advocates.

The Telecom Bill, which made its way into Parliament on December 18, successfully navigated the legislative process, securing passage in the Lok Sabha on December 20 and the Rajya Sabha on December 21. However, despite this apparent success, the approval process has been met with controversy and digital criticism.

One noteworthy aspect of the President‘s assent is the mention in the official gazette order that the Act will be notified separately by the Centre on a different date. This decision to notify the Act separately raises questions and adds an additional layer of complexity to the unfolding scenario.

Digital critics have voiced their concerns over the proposed legislation, labeling it as a potential threat to Indian democracy and the freedom of the internet. The criticism underscores the growing tension between regulatory measures and the need to safeguard digital rights in an increasingly interconnected world.

The President’s approval signals a crucial juncture in the fate of the Telecom Bill, as it moves closer to becoming law. The separate notification by the Centre adds an element of anticipation and raises questions about the specific provisions that may come into effect at a later date.

While the government argues that the Telecom Bill is essential for addressing pressing issues in the telecommunications sector, critics fear that it may empower authorities with excessive control, potentially compromising the privacy and freedom of expression of Indian citizens.

As the Telecom Bill progresses towards implementation, the debate surrounding its potential impact on democracy, digital rights, and internet freedom is likely to intensify. The coming weeks will undoubtedly witness continued discussions, legal analyses, and public discourse as stakeholders grapple with the implications of this significant legislative development

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