13 May, 2020
6 Min Read
SC & 4G Services in J&K
Part of: GS-II- Governance and Federal Issues (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
Recently, the Supreme Court refused to restore 4G services in Jammu & Kashmir and ordered setting up of a high-powered committee to look into the contentions raised by petitioners against limited 2G services in the Union Territory.
In August 2019, the Central government had suspended all modes of communications in the wake of revocation of Jammu and Kashmir's special status, granted under Article 370. Eventually, services were partially restored, with internet speed restricted to 2G. A plea was filed by ‘Foundation for Media Professionals’ for restoration of high-speed internet in Jammu and Kashmir in view of the Covid-19 situation.
Anuradha Bhasin vs Union of India (2020)
The judgement declared that the freedom of speech and expression and the freedom to practice any profession or carry on any trade, business or occupation over the medium of Internet enjoys constitutional protection under Article 19(1)(a) and Article 19(1)(g) respectively. It also ruled that such freedom is not absolute, the restrictions imposed on it should be in consonance with the mandate under Article 19(2) and Article 19(6) of the Constitution.
It had also directed authorities to pass internet suspension orders with respect to only those areas, where there is absolute necessity of such restrictions to be imposed.
The Court also directed the government to constitute a review committee to review orders leading to suspension and shutting down of Internet, mobile and fixed line telecommunication services.
All orders leading to suspension and shutting down of Internet, mobile and fixed line telecommunication services are issued under Rule 2 (2) of the Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services [Public Emergency or Public Service] Rules, 2017.
These are the rules to be followed if the government intends to temporarily suspend telecom services in any part of the country.
These rules have been framed by the government on the basis of the powers conferred by section 7 of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885. The Review Committee shall consist of State as well as Central level officials as the issue involved affects not only the UT of Jammu and Kashmir but also the whole country.
Need of 4G and National Security
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