4G in Kashmir: SC reserves order, Venugopal says court shouldn’t interfere in policy decisions

4 May, 2020 | newsx bureau

Supreme Court National

4G in Kashmir: The supreme court on Monday reserved its order on restoring 4G service in the Kashmir valley. The three-judge bench headed by Justice Ramanna heard the plea, seeking 4G internet ser...

4G in Kashmir: The Supreme Court on Monday reserved its order after hearing petitions seeking restoration of 4G internet remains in Jammu and Kashmir, especially the Kashmir Valley.

The three-judge bench, headed by Justice NV Ramanna, heard the pleas with the petitioners’ making a strong case that 2G services were not enough to continue online education or business/work from home in the wake of the coronavirus lockdown.

The bench said all issues will be considered before delivering the order and no further additional material would be required in this case. The Centre’s counsel Attorney general KK Venugopal said the restrictions are in place due to security concerns and drew the court’s attention to the Handwara encounter yesterday in which 5 security personnel were killed. 4G service will mean that videos can be made on troop movement, he said.

He maintained that the court should leave the government to take policy decisions, like these, as and when necessary and not interfere with it. Appearing for a petitioner, Salman Khurshid argued students are unable to access online lectures and the restrictions on 4G infringed their education rights.

On August 5, 2019, Article 370 of the Constitution was revoked from Jammu and Kashmir and the erstwhile state was divided into t2 union territories, Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir. Since then high-speed mobile internet has been prohibited in the Valley.

These restrictions were subsequently eased after the Supreme Court held that the ban on the internet violated the freedom of expression of the people. After that BSNL internet service was restored throughout the valley but at 2G speed.