Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai)

If you’re so dear to FB, put in your papers, Delhi HC tells soldier


NEW DELHI: The Delhi high court on Tuesday asked an army officer to either abide by his organisati­on’s mandate or resign while declining his plea seeking a stay on the army’s directive to soldiers to delete 89 apps from their smartphone­s.

The court said the stay cannot be granted as the matter related to the country’s security and safety.

The officer, Lieutenant Colonel P K Choudhary, moved the court after he was directed to remove the applicatio­ns and also delete his Facebook and Instagram profiles.

“You please delete... 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,” a bench of justices Rajiv Sahai Endlaw and Asha Menon said. “If you are so dear to FB [Facebook], then put in your papers. See you have to make a choice, what do you want to do. You have other choices which are also irreversib­le.”

Choudhary, who is posted in J&K, sought a direction to withdraw the Centre’s June 6 policy to “ensure that the fundamenta­l rights of armed forces personnel are not abrogated amended or modified by arbitrary executive action”. It added the order is “not backed by the mandate of law, offends the provisions of the Army Act and Rules made thereunder and is unconstitu­tional”. In his plea, he called himself an active Facebook user, who used the platform to connect with his friends and family as most of them are settled abroad, including his daughter. HC will hear the matter next on July 21.

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