The Doctor Operates...

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The Legal Option

As the blogging community goes into hyperdrive, we know that two things are likely tomorrow:
1.All the rumours, Kafka comparisons and democracy bemoaning may be meaningless if the ISPs lift the ban.
2.The ban will stay (for only a week at the most) and we'll have to use these circumventing tactics to access them until they return to normal.

In the meanwhile, here is my response to a call for volunteers against the ban:

I have checked the pages of NDTV, Indian Express, Indiatimes, CNN-IBN, The Hindu, Times Now and the Hindustan Times and have found no news on the ban at all [At 2 a.m on July 18]. Only rediff carries a story here.

In the rediff story, it suggests that a Right to Information application will be made by the Bloggers Collective. I strongly discourage this, because the RTI Act allows the Government a period of 30 days to respond to your application.

The relevant part of Section 7 of the Act is as follows: "....the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, on receipt of a request undersection 6 shall, as expeditiously as possible, and in any case within thirty days of the receipt of the request, either provide the information on payment of such fee as may be prescribed or reject the request for any of the reasons specified in sections 8 and 9."

THIRTY DAYS is way too long for bloggers to wait for the ban to be lifted. If we do get a copy of the Government directive/order to the ISPs, then this would be the basis for us to file a Writ Petition in any High Court or even the Supreme Court. This is a much better option. Any suggestions?


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