Delhi HC refuses to order linking of social media accounts with identity proof


The Delhi High Court has refused to pass any order or direction regarding the proposal seeking mandatory linking of social media accounts with Aadhaar, PAN or voter ID card as it requires framing of policies by the central government.

“The primary role of law as per the theory of positivism is to interpret the law and not make law, except in exceptional circumstances, especially when there is a gap in law or it is silent,” a bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar said dismissing the petition.

According to the Court, passing such an order would lead to the unnecessary data transfer of genuine account holders across borders.

Presently, duplicate accounts constitute about 18-20% of the total number of accounts on social media.

“If such type of direction for linkage of Aadhaar, PAN or Voter ID is ordered by the Court, there may be a situation where data of genuine account holder (who are 80% of the total) will also go in a foreign country, maybe unnecessarily. To do a small good… large account holder data will be at stake…”, added the bench.

Moreover, since the case is essential for the messaging platform as it is sought to change the platform features, the Court asked the central government to look into the matter.

It also asked the government to bring in suitable policy and amendments in the existing laws on the issue, and maintain proper balance since data privacy of genuine account holders was at stake.

The petition filed by advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay had sought direction to the Centre to take steps via linking of Aadhaar to identify and weed out fake accounts from social media.

Upadhayay had alleged that fake social media accounts are used to channel propaganda during elections.

Earlier in October, the Supreme Court had rejected fresh public interest litigation (PIL) seeking mandatory linking of Aadhaar with social media accounts.

About Author

Send Suggestions or Tips