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Supreme Court orders J&K to review orders imposing curbs within a week, says access to Internet fundamental right

Supreme Court orders J&K to review orders imposing curbs within a week, says access to Internet fundamental right

Supreme Court orders J&K to review orders imposing curbs within a week, says access to Internet fundamental right
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By CNBC-TV18 Jan 10, 2020 12:06:12 PM IST (Updated)

The Supreme Court on Friday ordered the Jammu and Kashmir administration to review all prohibitory orders within a week.

The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Jammu and Kashmir administration to review within a week all orders imposing curbs in the Union Territory while holding that access to Internet is a fundamental right under Article 19 of the Constitution

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A five-judge bench headed by Justice N V Ramana also asked the J-K administration to restore Internet services in institutions providing essential services like hospitals and educational places
The verdict came on a batch of pleas which challenged curbs imposed in Jammu and Kashmir after the Centre's abrogation of provisions of Article 370 on August 5 last year.
A bench headed by Justice N.V. Ramana said : "The court will not go into the political propriety (in connection with the restrictions in J&K)."
The court observed its limited concern is to find a balance between liberty of citizens and their security, as in this case liberty and security are at loggerheads.
The Supreme Court in its verdict observed that the use of Internet enjoys constitutional protection as tool, which is under the ambit of freedom of speech and expression and also enables people to carry on with their respective profession.
On Section 144 of the CrPC, the apex court said it cannot be used to curb liberty, and this section can be used only where there is likelihood of incitement of violence and danger to public safety.
The Supreme Court ruling comes months after the state's special status under Article 370 was revoked by the Union government in early August.
The internet shutdown in Kashmir has crossed more than 150 days, which is perhaps the longest ever in a democracy.
On November 27, a three-judge bench comprising Justices NV Ramana, R Subhash Reddy and BR Gavai had reserved judgement on a bunch of petitions challenging the constitutionality of Kashmir lock-down in the aftermath of the abrogation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.
The Centre and J&K administration maintain that the restrictions are necessary in the interests of national security.
Reaction on the apex court order, the government said it is reviewing the situation in Kashmir continuously, News18 quoted sources. Proportionality aspect is already there as markets are open; schools and colleges could conduct exams; internet services are allowed at several public places, including hotels, hospitals and universities, it added.
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