Delhi HC Notice to Centre on PIL Against Surveillance System

These surveillance systems allow the government to monitor communications of individuals, the plea says.

1 min read
Delhi High Court. 

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday, 2 December, issued a notice to the central government in a PIL filed by Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) seeking an order to stop the government to restrain its electronic surveillance systems, including Network & Traffic Analysis (NETRA), National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) and Centralised Monitoring System (CMS).

A bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan issued notice to the ministries of Home Affairs, Information Technology, Communications and Law and Justice, seeking their stand. The matter has been listed for hearing on 7 January 2021, reported PTI.

The plea by the NGO claims that the collection of data from CMS, NATGRID, NETRA allow the central government to monitor all the telecommunication, which is an infringement of fundamental right to privacy of an individual.

These surveillance systems allow the government to monitor communications of individuals through mobile phones, landlines, and the internet.

The plea also mentions that there is an "insufficient oversight mechanism" under the prevalent legal system to allow and review the interception and monitoring orders by the state agencies, the PTI reported.

It also states that the government should permanently “stop the execution and the operation of the surveillance projects, CMS, NETRA and NATGRID, which allows for bulk collection and analysis of personal data”

The matter was argued on behalf of the Petitioners by Advocate Prashant Bhushan.

(With inputs from PTI)

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