As the Centre gradually lifts restrictions across India amid Coronavirus lockdown, the Supreme Court, on Sunday, stated that it will pronounce its verdict on resuming high-speed internet in Jammu-Kashmir on Monday, according to ANI. On May 4, the 3-judge bench headed by Justice Ramanna reserved its verdict saying 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 High-speed internet remains banned in the Valley since Article 370 was revoked by the Parliament on August 5, 2019.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 will tomorrow pronounce the order on petitions seeking restoration of 4G internet service in Jammu and Kashmir. pic.twitter.com/myENkHctOO— ANI (@ANI) May 10, 2020
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.
While former chief ministers Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah have been released from detention among several other political leaders, Centre extended Mehbooba Mufti's detention under Public Safety Act (PSA) by three months. Apart from these security restrictions, the Valley is also under COVID-19 lockdown as 836 cases have been reported with 9 deaths till date. Entire Kashmir Valley and 2 Jammu districts have been declared as COVID-19 red zones.