Hearing the petitions filed on curbing of liberty in Jammu and Kashmir post revocation of Article 370 of the Indian constitution the Supreme Court on Friday provided a big relief to the residents of the now ‘Union Territory’.
Taking note of the months of communication and internet lockdown, the Supreme Court (SC) today said an indefinite internet shutdown is an abuse of power. The apex judiciary also pointed out that the right to carry out the trade using the internet is ‘constitutionally protected’.
The Judiciary has ordered the J&K govt to review internet curbs, restrictions within 7 days. Citing the misuse of Section 144 of the IPC the court also said that the Internet cannot be curbed unless ‘incitement to violence’.
Further, the court ordered the Centre to publish all the orders of the government under Section 144 imposing restrictions, including curbing of internet and said that the suspension of the internet should be reviewed forthwith and that such suspension can be only “for a limited time period.”
Citing the relationship of the internet with the fundamental rights of the citizen the court said that ” Internet is a major means of information, therefore the Freedom of Expression through the internet is part of Article 19(1)(a) and restrictions on it should be in accordance with restrictions to this right”.
The Central government defended its move by saying that the restrictions were a preventive move and neither a single life was lost nor a single bullet was fired. The verdict was delivered by SC while hearing the petitions filed by Anuradha Bhasin, Executive Editor of Kashmir Times, and others apart from hearing Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad’s plea.