Supreme Court on Kashmir: 'Internet Fundamental Right', Orders to review restrictions in 7 days
The Supreme Court, in its judgment, said that the orders issued regarding restrictions should be reviewed within a week.
The Supreme Court ruled on January 10, 2020, that access to the internet is a fundamental right of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. The apex court said that it comes under Article 19 of the Indian constitution. Supreme Court said that internet ban and section 144 can be imposed only when it is unavoidable.
The apex court, in its judgment, said that the orders issued regarding restrictions should be reviewed within a week. Court also said that restrictions included the movement of politicians, ban on the internet cannot be remained for an indefinite period.
Key Highlights of SC's Judgment
• The Supreme Court has ordered to put all the orders in the public domain under which Section 144 was imposed in Kashmir.
• Supreme Court asked Jammu and Kashmir administration to restore Internet services in all hospitals and educational institutions.
• The Supreme Court also ordered an immediate review of the suspension of the internet in Jammu and Kashmir.
• According to the SC order, the Supreme Court has formed a committee to review all those decisions that will put in the public domain by the state government. This committee will review the decisions of the government and submit the report to the court within seven days.
• Supreme Court has said that section 144 cannot be misused. Section 144 cannot be imposed for an indefinite period. SC said that there must have a necessary logic behind it.
• The Supreme Court said that the right to the internet also comes under the right of expression.
Who filed petitions?
Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anuradha Basin and several other leaders had filed a petition against the J&K restrictions in the Supreme Court. These leaders said that no outsider was allowed to go to the valley. They said that govt has imposed restrictions on the internet, mobile calling facilities. The bench headed by Justice NV Ramana comprising Justice BR Gavai and Justice R Subhash Reddy ruled that magistrates should apply their minds and follow the doctrine of proportionality while passing prohibitory orders.
How Govt justified restrictions?
The center government justified on November 21 and said that restrictions were taken under preventive steps that resulted in a peaceful environment as not a single life was lost nor a single bullet fired during this period. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said that during the period of these restrictions in the J&K region, no incident of gunfire or loss of life happened.