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Supreme Court directs Govt to review restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir; citizens hopeful

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on January 10, 2020 Published on January 10, 2020

In an important ruling, the Supreme Court on Friday directed the Jammu and Kashmir authorities to review all restrictive orders in the region, including the restrictions on Internet access.

 

The verdict was in response to a bunch of pleas regarding the restrictions imposed in the region following the abrogation of Article 370, Huffington Post reported.

 

Access to Internet is a fundamental right under Article 19, the court said, according to a report in the Huffington Post.

 

Temporary suspension of Internet and curtailing the basic freedom of citizens should not be arbitrary and is open to judicial review, the three-judge Bench led by Justice Ramana said, as quoted in The Hindu.

 

Restrictions on the Internet have to follow principles of proportionality under Article 19(2), the court said, according to the Huffington Post report.

 

The court has also asked the authorities to restore all Internet services in important institutions including hospitals and educational institutes, PTI reported.

 

Touching upon the topic of Section 144, the court said, “Power under Section 144 CrPC cannot be used as a curb on the legitimate expression of democratic rights,” as quoted by Bar & Bench.

 

Positive reactions from netizens across India have been pouring in over multiple social media platforms including Twitter with ‘internetshutdown’ and ‘Article 19’ trending on the microblogging site minutes after the announcement.

 

Popular online platform Feminism in India tweeted, “As the Supreme Court reviews the legalities of the #InternetShutdown in Kashmir, it is important to remind ourselves of just how destructive this months-long blockade has been. #KashmirLockdown

 

“Very important when banning the internet has become the most frequently-used option to curb dissent. Applies to other states too. #SupremeCourt #JammuAndKashmir #internetshutdown,” said a Twitter user.

 

The Centre imposed multiple restrictions on Jammu and Kashmir following the abrogation of Article 370. Internet shutdown had been imposed on the region from August 5, 2019, according to Huffington Post. The justification given for the ruling was to reduce potential violence in the region from terrorists and local militants.

 

 

Published on January 10, 2020
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