SC issues notice to J&K govt on plea seeking restoration of 4G Internet

NEW DELHI, Apr 9 (Agencies): The Supreme Court, on Thursday, sought a response from the Jammu and Kashmir administration on a plea to restore 4G speed mobile internet data services in the Union Territory, necessary for doctors, patients and the general public to access information during the COVID-19 pandemic, reported The Deccan Herald.
A bench of Justices NV Ramana, R Subhash Reddy and BR Gavai issued the notice through email to standing counsel of Jammu and Kashmir and put a public interest litigation (PIL) by a group, ‘Foundation for Media Professionals’ for consideration, next week.
During the brief hearing conducted through video conferencing, senior advocate Huzefa Ahmadi and advocate Shadan Farasat contended that in view of the lockdown, it was very necessary to enhance technology and connectivity. Virtual classes for students can only be conducted through better technology and connectivity, they said.
The plea had contended that people in Jammu and Kashmir were unable to access the latest information, guidelines, advisories, daily updates and restrictions on the COVID-19 pandemic.
The PIL, filed by the group through its president and noted journalist Paranjoy Guna Thakurta earlier this month, said an effective and speedy internet was an indispensable tool in the struggle against COVID-19.
The petitioner specifically challenged the March 26 order, restricting internet speed.
It contended that not restoring mobile internet speed to 4G in Jammu and Kashmir, in line with the rest of the country and in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic, on the “vague” ground of national security was a violation of the fundamental rights of life, dignity, free speech and shows non-application of the mind.
“The restriction in respect of mobile internet speeds effectively amounts to a targeted rollback of such rights in respects of the residents of Jammu and Kashmir,” the petition filed by advocate Shadan Farasat, stated.
It pointed out that internet in Jammu and Kashmir has been restricted for over seven months, following the abrogation of the special status for Kashmiri people under Article 370 on August 5, 2019.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *