“Can’t Suspend Internet Indefinitely” Supreme Court Slams Govt On J&K communication blockade

Supreme Court

Justice Ramana reading out the Supreme Court verdict says, “There needs to be an emergency for the invocation. Mere expression of disagreement cannot be ground.”

New Delhi| The Supreme Court is today hearing the petitions filed by Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad and others against the restrictions imposed in the Jammu and Kashmir after the government’s decision to abolish most of the provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution that granted special status to the former state. The top court is expected to give out its verdict today on whether to continue the restrictions in the valley or not.

A three-member bench of Justices NV Ramana, Justice R Subhash Reddy and Justice BR Gavai completed the hearing on November 27 last year on petitions challenging these restrictions.

Also Read: Kashmir is a bilateral issue and no third party can intervene: Ghulam Nabi Azad

On November 21, in its reply to the Supreme Court, the Center had said that due to the precautionary measures of the government, neither a person was killed nor a single shot had to be fired in the state.

Apart from Ghulam Nabi Azad, Kashmir Times Executive Editor Anuradha Bhasin and many others had filed petitions challenging various restrictions, including the communication blockade in the Valley.

Citing terrorist violence in the Kashmir Valley, the Center had said that for many years, terrorists were sent here from across the border, the local militant and separatist organizations kept the entire area hostage and in such a situation if the government was safeguarding the citizens. Had it not taken precautionary steps, it would have been ‘stupidity’. On August 5 last year, the Central Government had abolished many provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution giving special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

In a hearing in October 2019, a three-member bench headed by Justice NV Raman had asked the Central Government that a long time has passed since article-370 has been withdrawn from Jammu and Kashmir. The bench had asked the government how many days it wants the ban to continue. The court said that the government will have to clarify by when this ban will be completely lifted.

Here are the Live Updates:

  • Review all restrictive orders in J&K within a week: SC
  • Internet suspension without a particular duration and indefinitely is a violation of Telecom Rules: Justice Ramana
  • On the imposition of Section 144 in J&K, the SC bench says, “There needs to be an emergency for the invocation. Mere expression of disagreement cannot be ground.”
  • SC talks about Test of Proportionality. Justice Ramana says all factors should be considered and only if there is no other option available, the restriction should be considered.
  • SC rules Freedom of Speech and Expression includes Right to the Internet under Article 19
  • “Our Duty is to ensure that all the citizens of the country are given security and liberty but the two concepts always seem to be at loggerheads.”: Justice Ramana
  • Justice Ramana says that in the judgement the judges will try to balance the concerns over Human Rights with the issue of Security.
  • Justice Ramana says that SC’s limited concern is to find a balance regarding the security and liberty of people. We only here to ensure citizens are provided with their rights. “We will not delve into the political intent behind the orders given,” he said.
  • Supreme Court bench starts to read out the judgement

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