May 11, 2020

SC orders forming up of a Special Committee to look into contentions raised for restoration of 4G internet services in J&K ; No 4G internet as of now

[ by Legal Era News Network ]


The Supreme Court while hearing various pleas regarding the restoration of 4G internet services in Jammu and Kashmir, disposed of the petitions challenging the imposition of restrictions in the Union Territory.

A three-judge Bench of the Apex Court, headed by Justice NV Ramana and comprising of Justices R Subhash Reddy, and BR Gavai directed the Centre to form a Committee comprising of the Secretaries of State and Centre. The Committee is to be headed by the (Ministry of Home Affairs) MHA Secretary. The panel shall take into consideration, the contentions raised by the petitioners before the Supreme Court.

According to the petitioners, the slow internet speed in J&K, as opposed to 4G speed available in the rest of the country, hampered the “Right to education” and “Right to healthcare” in the region.

On the other hand, the government cited grounds of national security for the move to curtail 4G internet in Kashmir. The Government also stated that the “Right to access internet is not a fundamental right” and that the “Right to carry on trade and profession through internet can be curtailed.”

Justice NV Ramana while pronouncing the order stated that it was the duty of the Court to ensure that national security and human rights are balanced. He also held that the Court is cognizant to the concerns related to ongoing pandemic and hardships. The internet services were suspended in Jammu & Kashmir in August last year after the abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of the erstwhile state into two Union Territories of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir. The 2G services on postpaid mobile phones and broadband have been restored. However, the 4G services still remain suspended.

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