The House panel on IT has given government time until November-end to revert with data on internet shutdowns.
The central government has said it has no data on the number of times it ordered the shutdown of internet services in India. Representatives of Home Ministry and Ministry of Information Technology have also said it does not have information on how such bans on internet benefitted in maintaining law and order.
The parliamentary panel of IT, headed by senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, wanted to know the efficacy of internet shutdowns.
However, the response received was not satisfactory. Hence, the House panel has given them time until November-end to respond with data on "internet shutdowns, the methodology involved in imposing such bans, the objectives sought to be achieved and how imposing such restrictions helped," the Times of India reported.
During the meeting, no representatives, including those from Delhi and Bihar state government, could answer whether there was any direct relation between internet fuelling riots.
The unsatisfactory response and lack of data on internet shutdowns come in the wake of Freedom House's report, according to which internet freedom in India declined for a third straight year in 2020.
The report titled 'Freedom on the Net 2020: The Pandemic’s Digital Shadow', said India's internet freedom declined as "government authorities increasingly shut off connectivity to suppress anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests."