SC Tells Govt it's Wrong to Block Internet in J&K
Jan 14, 2020

The Supreme Court has said that, the indefinite communication shutdown in J&K is not permissible and the government must review the situation.

After the Indian government removed Article 370 and turned J&K into a Union Territory, there has been a complete communication and internet shutdown in J&K.The Central Government said shutting down the internet was very important and necessary for the safety and protection of J&K. On December 27, the internet was restored in Ladakh, but not in J&K. Editor of Kashmir Times, Anuradha Bhasin and Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad filed a petition in the Supreme Court.In their petition they said that the Central Government was very wrong to shut down the internet in J&K for so long. They have said that the government is violating people's human rights. 

On 10th January 2020, the SC gave its final verdict regarding these petitions. The decision was given by 3 SC judges. They said the government can not shut down the internet in J&K for an unlimited & unspecified period of time.The SC said Freedom of Speech is our right. Also as per Indian law internet and communication can be shut down in difficult situations but the government must explore alternate means before doing that. Liberty and security are always at loggerheads.But it is the Court's job to make sure that the citizens are provided all rights and security. This is why the SC has ordered the Central Government to start the internet in J&K within one week.

Section 144 is a law that does not allow more than 4 people to gather in an area. If people gather they can be jailed & fined.It can be used only if there is a possibility of violence and danger to public safety.However this law has been used in places all over India to stop people from protesting and voicing their opinion. The SC has said that Sec 144 cannot be used to control people's freedom. It must only be used in extreme cases.