Libertatem Magazine

Supreme Court: Directs to form a Special Committee as it cannot restore 4G connectivity immediately

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On 11.05.2020, J. N.V Ramana, JR. Subhash Reddy and B.R. Gavai, in the case of Foundation for Media Professionals v. UT of J&K and Anr decided to form a Special Committee to examine the chances of restoring 4G connectivity in the UT of J&K.

Brief facts of the case

The UT of J&K limited the internet speed to 2G in all areas. Thus, the case prays for use of 4G internet and for declaring previous decisions on the same matter void.

Petitioner’s Arguments 

The Petitioners’ contend that the right to the health needs the use of speedy internet to get medical services and information. Therefore, the denial of such information is a denial of their right to health and right to information. 

Non-accessibility affects students during online classes and educational data. Additionally, over 1 lakh people access COVID-19 data through fixed speed internet.

Respondent’s Arguments

Radio Channels, TV and Local Cable Networks are making efforts to spread awareness. Also, they disseminated 1.6 lakh pamphlets and 90,000 posters in English, Urdu and Hindi to the public. Wide publicity is also done for various helpline numbers. They are for COVID-19 related queries through print and electronic media. The right to education of the students of Jammu and Kashmir is also ensured. This is through lessons on 16 DD channels at a national level, and through the radio. Further, there is a distribution of Books up to elementary level, to the students at their homes.

Supreme Court’s View

The court stated that outsiders are trying to invade the borders and the integrity of the nation. There are cases resulting in the death of innocent citizens and security forces.

The orders passed for a limited period of time, do not provide any reasons for imposition on all the parts of the UT of J&K.

In Anuradha Bhasin v. Union of India, the court suggested that decisions to go about the use of internet must be of a Review Committee for guidelines to put fewer limits.

The SC decided that the issues involved affect the State and the nation. So, this Committee, which consists of only State-level officers, cannot form decisions.

Court’s Decision

The Court directed to form a Special Committee to look into the case and check the need for a limit on the internet. It should be comprised of the following officers at National, as well as State level: 

  1. The Home Secretary, 
  2. The Secretary of Department of Communications
  3. The Chief Secretary, Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir

The Special Committee has to examine the prayer of, and the material placed herein by the parties. It must also examine the suggestions, about limit to necessary areas. The allowing of faster internet (3G or 4G) must be on a trial basis over certain areas of the UT of J & K. is now on Telegram. Follow us for regular legal updates and judgements from the court. Follow us on Google News, InstagramLinkedInFacebook & Twitter. You can also subscribe for our Weekly Email Updates. You can also contribute stories like this and help us spread awareness for a better society. Submit Your Post Now.

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