Another petition seeks 4G restoration barring areas with ‘security concerns’
Srinagar/New Delhi: Hearing two petitions seeking restoration of high-speed 4G internet in J&K, the Supreme Court Monday refused the government’s request for longer time to file a response and directed it to file individual reports in two petitions by Sunday, April 26.

A bench comprising Justices NV Ramana, R. Subhash Reddy and B.R. Gavai directed the Centre, represented by Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta and Attorney General (AG) KK Venugopal, to file their response on each of the petitions by Sunday. The matter was adjourned to Monday, April 27.

There are two petitions filed in the apex court seeking restoration of high-speed internet in J&K.

One of them has been filed by Private Schools Association Jammu and Kashmir (PSAJK) and another by an organisation called Foundation of Media Professionals (FMP).

While PSAJK is majorly concerned about how education is impacted due to the suspension of 4G internet, the FMP petition has challenged the government order restricting internet speed for being violative of Articles 14, 19, 21, and 21A of the Constitution of India.

Advocate Charu Ambwani and Soayib Quereshi appeared on behalf of PSAJK.

Ambwani submitted that more than 27 lakh students are unable to have access to education to which the Solicitor General (SG) questioned “whether all students have laptops”.

Senior Advocate Huzefa Ahmadi, appearing for FMP, said that not having 4G impacted three aspects: health, ailments and education.

She added that one could not consult a doctor with connectivity issues at large. “Can’t have online classes without 4G” stated Ahmadi.

At this juncture, AG pointed out that there is an ongoing issue of militancy in Jammu & Kashmir “which cannot be overlooked.”

The AG told the apex court that “there are serious issues in J&K and it’s a question of national security.”

“Recently a militant was killed and 500 people showed up for his funeral. SG sought more time to file affidavit,” news agency ANI reported the AG saying.

In light of this, Ahmadi contended that regarding the issue of national security in J&K, in areas where there is such a concern, connectivity could be restricted.

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