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Indian Telegraph Act, 1885

  • The Indian Telegraph Act, 1883 is the enabling legislation in India which gov
  • e Indian Constitution.

History of the Telegraph Act

  • The Indian Telegraph Act, passed in 1883, was intended to give the Central Government power to establish telegraphers the use of wired and wireless telegraphy, telephones, teletype, radio communications and digital data communications.
  • It gives the Government of India exclusive jurisdiction and privileges for establishing, maintaining, operating, licensing and oversight of all forms of wired and wireless communications within Indian territory.
  • It also authorizes government law enforcement agencies to monitor/intercept communications and tap phone lines under conditions defined within th
  •  lines on private as well as public property.
  • At the time the Act was conceived, India was still under the rule of the British Raj.
  • Telegraph was first installed in 1851 and a trans-India telegraph was completed three years later in 1854.
  • The telegraph had become, in the intervening thirty years, an important tool for British dominion over India by quelling rebellions and consolidating information.
  • It was thus important for the British to have control of telegraphy and infrastructure across the subcontinent.
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