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SC gives more time for J&K govt to respond to plea for 4G Internet service

shish Tripathi
Last Updated : 21 April 2020, 11:31 IST
Last Updated : 21 April 2020, 11:31 IST
Last Updated : 21 April 2020, 11:31 IST
Last Updated : 21 April 2020, 11:31 IST

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday gave the Jammu and Kashmir administration time till April 26 to file its reply to a plea for restoring 4G internet services to enable students, doctors and others to access information during the period of lockdown.

The Centre, led by Attorney General K K Venugopal, for its part, opposed the plea citing militancy. He said the funeral of a militant killed recently was attended by 500 people.

"It is a very serious issue. Militancy is still there. When a militant was killed about 500 people came for the funeral. They are being made into martyrs," he said.

A bench presided over by N V Ramana said whatever the Centre and Jammu and Kashmir administration wanted to say, they should do it through an affidavit.

The court put a batch of petitions for further consideration on Monday, April 27.

Senior advocate Huzefa Ahmadi, appearing for 'Foundation for Media Professionals', contended internet restrictions should not be extended to the entire area.

"The schools all over the country have resorted to online classes. But in absence of 4G services, all students in Jammu and Kashmir are at a disadvantageous situation," he said.

The counsel highlighted the importance of 4G services for doctors and medical professionals and its use for video conferencing.

Another petitioner contended the future of 27 lakh students was at stake. They had laptops and tabs but no internet connection.

During the hearing, the court sought to know if the Jammu and Kashmir HC was also hearing the similar issue. To this, the counsel said the High Court had taken Suo Motu cognisance of several other issues. But here the issue was limited to the access of 4G services.

The PIL, filed by the foundation through its president and noted journalist Paranjoy Guna Thakurta, earlier this month, contended the people in Jammu and Kashmir were unable to access the latest information, guidelines, advisories, daily updates and restrictions on COVID-19 pandemic.

Two other petitions --- by Soayib Qureshi and Private Schools Association J and K -- were also filed for a similar purpose.

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Published 21 April 2020, 11:31 IST

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