Situation not conducive to resume 4G internet services in J&K: Centre

Joanna Estrada
August 12, 2020

The committee will review the outcome of trial after two months and the trial will be done in one district each in Jammu and Kashmir division, he added.

The Centre told the Supreme Court on Tuesday (August 11) that a review committee has decided that 4G internet services will be allowed on a trial basis in one district each in Jammu and one in the Kashmir valley after August 15.

High speed Internet service in Jammu and Kashmir has been suspended since last August.

The bench also observed that it hoped the situation would improve and the access could later be expanded.

Venugopal said the committee has decided that access to high-speed internet would be provided on a trial basis in a calibrated manner and its impact on security will be assessed.

Appearing for the NGO, senior advocate Huzefa Ahmadi said the Centre's stand appeared to be a step forward and he would not press for contempt proceedings.

According to the recommendations of the high-powered committee, internet could be restored in one district each of Jammu and Kashmir, which are away from the worldwide border or line of control, and has low intensity of terrorist activities.

Justice Ramana then closed the contempt case following the Centre's submission.

The bench had given two weeks time to the Centre to file a reply on the intervention application.

On Friday, the Supreme Court had asked the Jammu and Kashmir administration to explore the possibility of restoring 4G services in certain areas.

A bench of Justices NV Ramana, R Subhash Reddy and BR Gavai were hearing a contempt petition filed by a non-governmental organisation, challenging the blanket restrictions on high-speed internet and for alleged "wilful disobedience" in complying with the court's May 11 order. "The authorities presumably want to do a small "test run" in a less conflict-prone area to understand whether 4G services pose any risk", Com First (India) director and telecom expert Mahesh Uppal said.

On July 16, the Centre and J-K administration had told the top court that a special committee has been set up as per the court's directive to consider the issue of restoration of 4G Internet services in the Union Territory.

This decision was taken by the high-powered committee headed by the Union home secretary on Monday after taking into account the views expressed by the security agencies and local agencies in the UT while keeping in mind the security of the nation, border security and public safety.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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