Access To Internet Not Fundamental Right: J&K Govt In SC - Kashmir Student Alerts

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Thursday, 30 April 2020

Access To Internet Not Fundamental Right: J&K Govt In SC

Srinagar

Citing spurt in terror activities, Jammu and Kashmir administration has opposed before the Supreme Court petitions seeking restoration of 4G internet services in the union territory, The Tribune reported.

In an affidavit filed in the top court, the J&K Administration said reasonable restrictions were unavoidable in view of peculiar geopolitical position of Jammu & Kashmir.

The top court is seized of three petitions on the issue, including one each by Foundation For Media Professionals and Private Schools Association of Jammu and Kashmir.

Restrictions on 4G internet speed were extended on April 27 till May 11.

The top court had on April 21 asked J&K Administration to spell out its stand on demands for restoration of 4G internet services in the terror-hit union territory.

“There are serious issues in Jammu and Kashmir. It’s a question of national security. Recently, a militant was killed and 500 people showed up for his funeral,” Attorney General KK Venugopal had told a bench headed by Justice NV Ramana.

Asserting that right to access the internet was not a fundamental right, the UT administration said it can be curtailed in the interest of the “sovereignty”, “security” and “integrity” of India.

It said the alleged deprivation of access to education, health care facilities was incorrect as the administration was taking all possible steps to ensure minimum impact of COVID-19 was felt.

The rationale behind limiting internet speed are well-founded keeping in mind the ground situation, it said adding there had been instances of lifting of restrictions on internet speed being misused by militants.

Regarding online education getting impacted, it said the majority of students in J&K were studying in government schools who did not have mobile/smartphones or computers to access the internet, reported The Tribune.