Covid-19: SC Asks Center, J&K to Respond in Request for Restoration of 4G Services

NEW DELHI: On Thursday they asked the Center and the Jammu and Kashmir administration to respond to a plea for instructions to restore 4G internet in light of the prevailing.

A bank of Justices NV Ramana, R Subhash Reddy and BR Gavai issued them notices and requested their response within a week on the statement made by 'Foundation for Media Professionals' that attacked an order from the J&kadministrationonmarch26thatrestrictedinternetspeedto2gonlyinut.

seniorlawyerhuzefaahmadi,whoappearedforthepetitioner,arguedthat,inviewofthecontinuedblockade,thereisagreatneedtoimprovetechnologyandconnectivityintheunionterritory.

hesaidthatvirtualclassesforstudents,whoseschoolsareclosedduetotheblockade,canonlybedonethroughimprovedtechnologyandbetterconnectivity.

thebanksaiditisissuinganoticethatcanbeemailedtoapermanentlawyerforthejammuandkashmiradministrationandthecenter.

thestatementpresentedthroughdefendershadanfarasat,whileseekingtherestorationof4ginternetservices,allegedthatthegovernment'sactionviolatedarticles14(righttoequality),19(freedomofexpression)and21(righttolife)ofthe.

declaringthat2gphoneservicesareoutdated,thestatementsaidthat4ginternetspeedwouldbehelpfulinensuringtheflowofinformationtocitizensinlightofthecovid-19pandemic.

theadventoftheglobalpandemicofcovid-19hasfundamentallyalteredtheexistingsituation.currently,therearethefollowingfacts:first,covid-19existsinindia,anditisahighlyinfectiousandcommunicabledisease.researchintoitsoriginsandbestwaystocombatthisdiseaseareongoing,andthereisacontinuousstreamofnewinformationonhowbesttocontainthevirus'sspreadandlimititsspreadandimpact,hesaid.

theallegationaddedthatitwantedtoensuretheflowofinformationtocitizensduringtheseextraordinarytimeswhenthenumberofcasesofcoronavirusdisease(covid-19)injammuandkashmirhasalreadyreached33,with2deathsreported.

undertheseconditions,apandemicandacrash,restrictingmobileinternetspeedsto2gisonlycompletelyunreasonable,illegalandunconstitutionalforthefollowingreasons.

first,theguaranteeoflifeandpersonallibertyunderarticle21oftheindianconstitutionincludestherighttohealth; and it is the constitutional obligation of the State to provide, or at least not to inhibit the provision of the essential infrastructure that makes this right effective and does not reduce it to nullity ..., he said.

The right to health is a compound right that requires the state to take active measures to guarantee the presence of the necessary physical and, by extension, digital infrastructure, and the proper functioning of the Internet, especially in times of an epidemic such as COVID19. An essential part of this digital infrastructure that is required to make this right an effective reality, he said.

The slow speed of the Internet also makes telemedicine or online video consultation impossible, he said.

The right to Internet connectivity has been repeatedly recognized by the basic need or an essential service to guarantee the right to health, the statement said and referred to the National Telecommunications Policy in support of its argument.

Fourth, the challenged order has directly impacted the enjoyment of several other fundamental rights in the specific context of the continued blockade. Restricted internet speeds are directly affecting the ability of children in Jammu and Kashmir to exercise their fundamental right to education, guaranteed by article 21A of the Constitution since schools there cannot change their mode of instruction, he said. >

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