Either FB or job: Court tells army personnel challenging social media ban

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On Tuesday, Delhi High Court declined interim relief to a senior army officer, who challenged the ban on Indian army’s personnel usage of social media platforms as per a new policy, saying he either abide by the mandate or quit the job, reported the Indian Express.

“If you are so dear to Facebook, then put in your papers,” the bench warned. “See, you have to make a choice, what do you want to do. You have other choices which are also irreversible.”

The newspaper reported that a bench of Justices R S Endlaw and Asha Menon said it had not found a reason to entertain the plea, and therefore, “the question of granting any interim relief does not arise”. “Especially when the matter has the potential of concerning the safety and security of the country,” it added.

Lt Col P K Choudhary, who is currently posted in Jammu and Kashmir, said in his plea he was an active user of Facebook and used the platform to connect with his friends and family as most of them were settled abroad, including his elder daughter.

The court was hearing a plea that sought a direction to the Director-General of Military Intelligence to withdraw its 6 June order which mandated all members of the Indian Army delete their accounts from Facebook, Instagram, and eighty-seven other applications.

He urged the court to grant him interim relief to retain his Facebook account.

The HC, however, said he has a choice to make and asked him to delete his account as the policy to ban the use of social networking platforms for army personnel was taken keeping in view the security of the nation, the newspaper reported.

“No. No. Sorry. You please delete it. You can always create a new one. It cannot work like this. You are part of an organisation. You have to abide by its mandate,” the bench orally observed.

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