Gatekeeper Liability and Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India
Volume 7 Issue 2 (2014)
This paper argues that access and free flow of information need to be seen as significant parts of our freedom of expression jurisprudence. In particular, it highlights the role played by information gatekeepers in the free circulation of information. Starting from Ranjit D. Udeshi v. State of Maharashtra, in which the strict liability of gatekeepers was used to restrict the circulation of obscene material, up to the current system for government-ordered blocking of content by internet intermediaries in India, information gatekeepers are used to control information. Our freedom of expression norms need to take this into account besides their focus on the rights of primary speakers, since information gatekeepers can be used to censor speech in an opaque fashion that leaves little room for accountability.