Srinagar, May 11: Supreme Court (SC) on Monday directed that a high-powered committee to be headed by Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) Secretary will be looking into the complaints over high-speed internet restoration in Jammu and Kashmir.
Reports reached to Kashmir News Service (KNS) said that during the hearing of bunch of petitions seeking high-speed (4G) internet restoration in Jammu and Kashmir, Justice N V Ramana said, “The apex court has to ensure that national security and human rights are balanced. We do not recognize that UT has plunged into crisis. At the same time court is cognizant to the concerns related to ongoing pandemic and hardships”.
The court directed that a high-powered committee to be headed by Secretary MHA and will include Secretary Ministry of Communications and the Chief Secretary of Union Territory of J&K who will look into the demands about the restoration of 4G internet restoration but maintained that court has to ensure that national security and human rights are balanced.
The court also observed that Kashmir is also going through the same crisis of Corona virus as the rest of the world and emphasized that poor or no internet services can add to the hardships.
The court directed the special MHA committee to examine the contentions made by petitioners and also the appropriateness of their contentions and the alternative remedy that can be provided.
At the occasion, the petitioners also put up their argument and impressed upon the court that 2G internet service is not sufficient for education, health and business purposes amid ongoing Covid-19 lockdown.
It is pertinent to mention that authorities snapped high-speed (4G) internet services across Jammu and Kashmir on August 4, 2019 late night hours before when New Delhi abrogated special constitutional position of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 and downgraded the erstwhile state into two Union Territories (UTs) – Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh. Besides clampdown of communication services, strict restricts under section 144 were also imposed in all districts of J&K to maintain law and order situation, though mobile calling on all networks, short message service (SMS) and low speed internet were restored gradually but 4G internet services are yet to resume.