SC denies the order the restoration of 4G internet services in Jammu and Kashmir.

source: economic times

Sets up a high powered council to put the result based on district wise threat visibility.

On Monday, the apex court of India refused to restore the 4G internet connectivity in Jammu and Kashmir. Supreme Court also ordered to appoint a committee to decide on this after summarizing the scenario of the state.

The Supreme court said the decision on prohibiting internet availability in Jammu and Kashmir did not take consideration of the province wise threat perception.

The committee has to understand the security conditions of the districts and according to that, they have to decide whether to lift or restrict the curbs, The court said.

Lead by Justice NV Ramana, a bench of three judges, said that the bar has to ensure federal security and human rights were balanced.

We do recognize that UT has plunged into the crisis” said the top court.

At the same time, the Supreme Court is conscious of the concerns related to ongoing pandemic crises and its difficulties, the court said.

In Anuradha Basin case, the Supreme Court had declared that there should be sufficient procedure safeguards, in the month of January.

In this regard, the committee comprising of secretaries of Centre and State should be set up. The Ministry of Communication, the MHA Secretary and Chief Secretary of Jammu and Kashmir will be included in this panel.

The court demanded the council to analyze the assertions made by the petitioners. 4G internet service is vital for education and medical facilities during the pandemic crises.

The panel will also verify the appropriateness of their arguments and give an alternative solution.

Jammu and Kashmir Administration had asserted restoration would raise the terror activities.

On 4th May, the apex court had reserved its order on the application seeking restoration of 4G internet services connection in J&K even as the administration sought to rationalize the prohibition noting the security situation of the state.

After hearing the long-winded arguments of Attorney General KK Venugopal and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta for the center and state government of Jammu and Kashmir and senior lawyer Huzefa Ahmadi and Salman Khurshid for petitioners, the Supreme The court reserved its orders.

Stating a recent encounter in which five security personnel including a Colonel was killed in Kashmir. The administration of J&K had opposed the application stating that 4G internet restoration will lead to terrorism.

There were three applicants including each from Foundation for Media Professionals and Private School Association of Jammu and Kashmir.

On behalf of the Foundation for Media Professionals, Ahmadi argued that 2G connection was not sufficient for access to the online mode of education and medical services amidst COVID-19 pandemic and due to the restriction, citizens’ right to education and right to health, which was included in the right to life and liberty stated under Article 21 has been violated.

“Even the Arogya Setu app can’t be downloaded and operated by people in the valley,” Ahmadi had said.

There are other areas in the country where there is either no internet or only 2G is available. There is no information that someone has died of COVID19 because they didn’t have internet access,” Mehta had said.

Khurshid cited that the government had given the order to provide education via online classes but due to lack of 4G internet services, it was not possible.

This is about the protection of the lives of the entire population of J&K. Yesterday, there were some tragic events the enemy could know the troop movements if they had 4G,” the AG had said.

Most of the terrorist activities happened in J&K during the 1990s when there was no internet.” Ahmadi said.

The orders prohibiting the 4G speed were against the Supreme Court’s order in the Anuradha Basin case as the judgment was neither put before the review panel nor made open to the public, Ahmadi had asserted.

~Varsha Verma



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