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Indian businessman sparks debate on Internet freedom in India

Zafar Anjum | Feb. 20, 2013
Government moves in to challenge gag order on IIPM-related blocked URLs

In a defiant move, one of the affected magazines, The Caravan, said that they reposted the blocked article at a new URL.

Government a victim of its own censorship?

Part of the blocked URLs is a section of the website of the government's higher-education regulator, the University Grants Commission (UGC). The UGC had posted a notification that IIPM is not recognised as a university and does not have the right to issue certificates. This information was meant to warn students of the true nature of IIPM and its status. Chaudhuri has argued that UGC need not post any such warning as IIPM never claimed that it was a university or it had the right to issue (MBA) certificates.

In the wake of the URL bans, Indian media also reported that an anonymous hacker group targeted IIPM websites on Saturday (16 February). They claimed that they had brought down as many as 16 IIPM-related websites for around nine hours.

"This country has laws and you cannot go and defame someone on online media. I am going to contest anything that is defamatory," Chaudhuri told NDTV on Monday (18 February). In his statement, he also said the government's decision to "unblock" the UGC webpage would amount to contempt of court.

Soon after the controversy broke out on Twitter after a report by medianama, Shashi Tharoor, a junior minister in the Human Resources and Development ministry, tweeted that he has asked Milind Deora, his counterpart in the IT ministry, to unblock the UGC link that was affected.

Now, the Government of India has decided to appeal against the court order that asked for banning of the "defamatory" websites.

According to an NDTV report, the government will challenge the verdict at the next hearing on 28 February.


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