SC disposes of contempt plea for ‘not reviewing’ 4G ban in J&K

The Supreme Court on Tuesday disposed of a plea seeking contempt proceedings against Union Home Secretary and Chief Secretary of Jammu and Kashmir for allegedly not complying with its earlier order on reviewing restoration of 4G internet service in the Union Territory.

A bench headed by NV Ramana also asked the Centre to file a reply on the intervention application filed in the matter and posted the matter for further hearing after two weeks.

The contempt petition was filed by an NGO named Foundation for Media Professionals seeking the restoration of 4G internet services in Jammu and Kashmir and alleging that the top court’s earlier orders are not being complied with by concerned authorities.

During the hearing today, the Central government submitted that the Committee, set up to review the restoration of 4G internet service, is considering to allow the same in one district each of Jammu and Kashmir on a trial basis.

Attorney General KK Venugopal, a top law officer representing the Union of India (UOI), told the apex court that the special committee convened the third meeting on August 10 and consulted with local agencies in the Union Territory.

“Various options considered keeping in mind border security. The committee is of the view that the threat perception in Jammu and Kashmir continues to be high. Internet restrictions are not posing any hindrance to COVID care, education or business,” he said.

The Attorney General said that given the current security scenario, the situation is not yet conducive to restore high-speed internet access to mobile phones.

Advocate Huzefa Ahmadi, appearing for the petitioner, added to the same and said that whatever review was done or will be done must be in the public domain.

“Today is a great day, and I thank there is a step forward in restoring the 4G internet connectivity,” Huzefa said expressing happiness over the submission that the Committee is considering restoration of high-speed internet on a trial basis in the two districts.

In the last hearing, the Central government had told the top court that the directions issued by the Supreme Court for the review of restoration of 4G internet services in Jammu and Kashmir are being complied with and that a committee was set up to review the same.

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