Internet access is a fundamental right, review curbs: SC to J&K
The apex court said magistrates should apply their mind and follow the doctrine of proportionality while passing prohibitory orders
New Delhi: In a significant judgment with implications on basic freedoms beyond Kashmir, the Supreme Court on Friday said Internet access is a fundamental right under Article 19 of the Constitution and asked the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) administration to review within a week all curbs in the union territory.
Welcomed by people in the Kashmir Valley who have been without Internet for the last five months as "happy news" at last, the apex court verdict also said Section 144 of the CrPC (prohibitory orders) cannot be used indefinitely to suppress freedom of speech and expression and difference of opinion. Extending its observations to the media, the bench said freedom of press is a valuable and a sacred right.
The three-judge bench, headed by Justice N V Ramana and also comprising Justices B R Gavai and R Subhash Reddy, asked the J&K administration to immediately restore Internet services in institutions providing essential services like hospitals and educational places. However, there was no mention of any timeframe of restoration of Internet services to other sectors and people in the Valley. The apex court said magistrates should apply their mind and follow the doctrine of proportionality while passing prohibitory orders.
It will restore free flow of info: Sibal
Congress leader Kapil Sibal welcomed the SC order on Internet ban in J&K, saying it will restore free flow of information from the region. He also termed "path-breaking" the court's observation that prohibitory orders under CrPC Section 144 cannot be used indefinitely to suppress freedom of speech.
This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever
Sign up for all the latest news, top galleries and trending videos from Mid-day.comSubscribe