As high-speed mobile internet remains banned in the Valley, the Supreme Court, on Monday, reserved its order on restoring 4G services in Jammu and Kashmir. The 3-judge bench headed by Justice Ramanna said that all issues will be considered before pronouncing the order. High-speed internet remains banned in the Valley since Article 370 was revoked by the Parliament on August 5, 2019.
Supreme Court reserves order on hearing a number of petitions seeking restoration of 4G internet service in Jammu and Kashmir. Justice Ramana, said,we are taking into consideration all the issues. Don't require any additional materials in the case. pic.twitter.com/D9LBDZfUeD— ANI (@ANI) May 4, 2020
Solicitor General SG Mehta - representing the Centre stated that 'there is no information that someone has died of #COVID19 because they didn't have internet access'. He added that broadband cannot be misused for any anti-national activities and that mobile phones can be easily misused. Advocate Salman Khurshid representing the petitioner argued that inspite of a review being done by J&K govt on a weekly basis, none of the review orders or info is available in public. He also raised the issue of students being unable to access educational lectures due to slow internet, infringing upon their right to education.
On April 27, the administration extended the ban on high-speed internet till May 11, 2020. The administration has stated this has been done to curb circulation of rumour-mongering amid the 'spurt in terrorist violence' in the valley. The administration ordered that mobile internet speed must be restricted at 2G speed and internet services will not be extended to pre-paid services, only for post-paid services.
Restrictions have been put on communication links since August 5 in Jammu and Kashmir, these were subsequently eased, after Supreme Court upheld that the continued ban on internet was 'violation of freedom of expression'. Since the revocation, state-run internet provider BSNL has restored internet services throughout the Kashmir valley, but with a speed of 2G with special instructions. The temporary ban on social media sites was removed in March, however, complaints of inaccessibility persisted.