Right to access internet is fundamental right; Kerala student expelled from hostel wins legal fight over mobile phone usage

In a landmark judgment, the High Court of Kerala on Thursday declared that right to access internet is a fundamental right forming part of right to education.

The declaration was given by a single bench of Justice P V Asha while allowing a petition filed by a student challenging restrictions on usage of mobile phone in a ladies hostel.

The petitioner Faheema Shirin, a third semester B.A English student of Sree Narayana College, Chelanur, Kozhikode, had approached the High Court through a writ petition after she was expelled from the College hostel for not abiding by the restrictions on using mobile phone. As per the rules of the girls’ hostel, inmates were prevented from using mobile phones from 6 PM to 10 PM every day. She, along with few other inmates, had protested the restriction as it was hampering their learning process by depriving them of access to information.

After being expelled, Ms Shirin was commuting almost 120 km every day from her home to the college and back. Now that she has a high court verdict in her favour, things are set to change.

“I am extremely happy. My friends in college and the hostel are also happy. They didn’t really challenge the rules, but they were supportive towards me and have welcomed the court verdict. This will benefit all of us and is a first in Kerala”, Faheema Shirin told NDTV.

Photo: Faheema Shirin

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