The Legal Disconnect: An Analysis of India’s Internet Shutdown Laws

IFF Working Paper No. 1/2018

22 Pages Posted: 18 Oct 2018

See all articles by Nakul Nayak

Nakul Nayak

University of Pennsylvania Law School - Student/Alumni/Adjunct; National Law University Jodhpur (NLUJ)

Date Written: September 25, 2018


Internet shutdowns have risen sharply in India over the past year. While we may not be able to formally link causality between a set of rules which legally govern and empower the prohibition of internet services in India, this paper attempts a threadbare legal analysis of their reasonableness based on precepts of natural justice. This paper builds on the understanding Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency or Public Safety) Rules, 2017 while are unconstitutional are previously argued by the author, due to their secrecy, inadequate oversight and limitations on the review committee also fail the tests of administrative law when a fundamental right is restricted. As a product of applied research and analysis this paper is authored for the benefit of researchers, policy analysts, courts and regulators.

Keywords: internet shutdowns, online censorship

Suggested Citation

Nayak, Nakul, The Legal Disconnect: An Analysis of India’s Internet Shutdown Laws (September 25, 2018). IFF Working Paper No. 1/2018. Available at SSRN: or

Nakul Nayak (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania Law School - Student/Alumni/Adjunct ( email )

Philadelphia, PA
United States

National Law University Jodhpur (NLUJ) ( email )


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