No quick resumption of 4G web providers in J&Ok, MHA tells SC

Satya Prakash

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 24

There cannot be an instantaneous resumption of 4G providers in Jammu and Kashmir as a particular committee constituted to look at the difficulty has determined towards it in view of “prevalent situation in this sensitive region”, the Centre has instructed to Supreme Court.

In an affidavit filed within the Supreme Court earlier this week, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) stated the scenario in Jammu and Kashmir can be reviewed for the following two months and if there was an enchancment, applicable motion can be taken accordingly.

On the idea of a wide-ranging evaluation of the scenario within the delicate area, the particular committee, which met on June 10, determined that “no further relaxation on internet services including 4G services could be carried out at the present”.

The affidavit has been filed in response to a contempt petition alleging that the federal government didn’t represent a particular committee as directed by a Supreme Court to evaluate web restrictions imposed in Jammu and Kashmir.

The Supreme Court had on July 16 requested the Centre and the J&Ok Administration to reply to a petition searching for initiation of contempt proceedings towards the Union Home Secretary and Jammu and Kashmir Chief Secretary for allegedly not establishing a committee to evaluate curbs on the Internet within the newly shaped Union Territory.

In its May 11 verdict, the highest courtroom had directed quick establishing of a “Special Committee” to find out the need of continued restriction of cellular web pace in J&Ok to 2G solely. It had additionally requested the committee to place its selections within the public area.

A Bench led by Justice NV Ramana had requested the Centre and J&Ok Administration to reply to the contempt plea by NGO Foundation for Media Professionals, which alleged that regardless of the highest courtroom’s order, the stated committee to evaluate the necessity for web restrictions in J&Ok had not been shaped. The NGO needed restoration of 4G web providers to allow kids to attend their colleges on-line.

However, terming the NGO’s allegation as “totally misconceived and misconstrued”, the MHA affidavit stated the particular committee was constituted by the Supreme Court itself on May 11, 2020, when the Justice NV Ramana-led bench had ordered {that a} particular committee headed by Home Secretary, Government of India, can be shaped to evaluate the web restrictions within the valley.

“After the May 11 order of the Supreme Court, no further notification or order from the government was needed,” the affidavit said.

During the earlier listening to, Attorney General KK Venugopal had contested the allegations, saying there was no query of contempt because the stated committee had already been constituted.  “How can there be contempt if the committee has already been put in place?” he had puzzled.

While refusing to order the restoration of 4G cellular web providers in Jammu and Kashmir, a three-judge Bench headed by Justice NV Ramana had on May 11 arrange a particular committee led by Union Home Secretary to take a name on the difficulty after factoring within the safety scenario on the bottom. Besides the Union Home Secretary, DoT Secretary and Chief Secretary of J-Ok was to be on the panel.

In its May 11 order, the Supreme Court stated: “…since the issues involved affect the state and the nation, the Review Committee (under Telecom Rules), which consists of only state-level officers, may not be in a position to satisfactorily address all issues raised.”

“We do recognise that the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir has been plagued with militancy, which is required to be taken into consideration. These competing considerations need to be calibrated in terms of our judgment (on lockdown in J&K) in Anuradha Bhasin (case),” it had stated.

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