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How will Youngsters examine with out the Web? Petitioner seeks 4G restoration in Jammu and Kashmir: Supreme Court docket

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Petitioner: The Private Schools Association of Jammu and Kashmir. (The association has members from 3800 schools).

Advocate (Petitioner): Adv. Shadan Farasat

In Jammu and Kashmir, after the abrogation of its special status; 4G internet services had been suspended.

After the advent of the COVID Pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, regular classes have been suspended since March.

While in majority of places, children are using Online platforms to continue their education, the same is not getting fulfilled in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

It was alleged that, Internet is speed is too slow to support video conference based classroom experience. It is pertinent to note that, the state is receiving 2G speed as of now.

Petitioner was aggrieved that the students are not getting their education because of unsupportive internet condition.

Cumulatively, it will be the third round of litigation in the Supreme Court regarding the restoration of 4G connectivity in the State.

Past two Petitions

Anuradha Bhasin v. Union of India

In this case, the Supreme Court held that the Internet is having a direct correlation with the freedom of speech and expression and trade. However, no immediate orders were given to restore the connectivity in the State. Central Government was asked to review the matter.

Foundation of Media Professionals v. Union of India

Petitions were filed alleging the presence of adverse affect of lack of 4G connectivity on commerce, education, services and trade during the lockdown.

Again, no immediate orders were passed to restore the connectivity. Court constituted a higher level special committee to review the situation. Before committee could be constituted, Centre extended the restrictions.

Present plea

It has been plead that,

Restrictions fail the test of necessity, legitimate aim, suitability and balancing

The petition claims that Government has been blatantly been ignoring the rationales laid down in the Anuradha Bhasin case. It was claimed that the Government even didn’t consider any alternative options like:

  1. Use of interception against suspected persons to curb terrorism.
  2. Blacklisting certain websites.
  3. Blocking the connectivity in a certain region, instead of the whole State.
  4. Allowing internet through verified sims, which could facilitate tracing of any illegal activities.

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