Plea in HC by US firm challenging blocking of IP Address

A petition by US-based One Signal Inc, providing services including mobile and web push notifications, challenging blockage of its IP address without giving it a hearing or reasons came up for hearing on Monday in the Delhi High Court.

Justice Prathiba M Singh listed the matter for further hearing on February 11 after the Centre’s counsel said he will seek instructions on the issues raised in the petition including that the blockage has violated the country’s right to do business in India which has resulted in creating imparity between it and others.

The plea has arrayed the ministries of Electronics and Information Technology and Communications as parties.

The petition, filed through advocates Vijay Pal Dalmia, Rajat Jain and Aditya Dhar, said the blockage has resulted in loss of business and livelihood to the company as the customers are not able to avail and take the benefits of its services.

The petitioner is a company based in the United States of America and provides services including mobile and web push notifications which is an important and essential communication channel built into every mobile device sold today. Push notifications help in delivering timely and relevant information to users and are the first and often, most essential communication channel used by web based and mobile applications, it said.

It said that in July 2020, it came to the notice of the company that its IP address has suddenly been blocked by various internet service providers (ISPs) including Airtel, TATA and Atria Convergence Technologies Ltd without issuing any intimation or any opportunity of being heard.

The plea claimed that till date, no notice or intimation has been received by it with respect to the blocking of the present IP address.

It sought direction to the authorities to allow the access of the IP address in India, belonging to the company, and also set aside the order passed by them under the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking for Access of Information by Public) Rules framed under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act for blocking the IP address.

The plea said the company is unaware of the actions taken by the authorities towards blocking the IP address and that they have unilaterally and arbitrarily blocked its IP address without following the principles of natural justice and equity.

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