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Contempt petition in SC over no panel to review J&K internet curbs

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Contempt petition in SC over no panel to review J&K internet curbs
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New Delhi :  The Foundation of Media Professionals has moved a contempt petition in the Supreme Court stating that despite the court's order, the government has not set up a special committee to review internet restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir.

On May 11, a bench headed by Justice N.V. Ramana had directed constitution of a special committee immediately to examine the continuity of restrictions limiting internet speed to 2G, instead of high speed 3G/4G services, which was demanded by the petitioners, including the Foundation of Media Professionals.

This special committee was to consist of the Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, the Secretary, Department of Communications and the Chief Secretary, Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

According to the top court order, this committee was supposed to examine alternatives and determine whether 3G/4G internet speed could be allocated to certain regions on a trial basis.

The apex court had said: "We are of the view that since the issues involved affect the state, and the nation, the Review Committee which consists of only state level officers, may not be in a position to satisfactorily address all the issues raised. We, therefore, find it appropriate to constitute a special committee comprising the following Secretaries at national, as well as state, level to look into the prevailing circumstances and immediately determine the necessity of the continuation of the restrictions in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir."

The top court had observed that the special committee, which is separate from the review committee prescribed under the Temporary Telecom Suspension Rules 2017, was necessary having regard to the seriousness of the matter.

Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla and J&K Chief Secretary B.V.R. Subhrahmanyam have been added in personal capacities as respondents in the contempt petition.

The petitioner claims that despite court orders, no such seems to have been constituted yet, and no order has been published by them. And, the J&K administration has decided to continue the speed restrictions till June 17 as per order issued on May 27, the petitioner argued.

The petition sought initiation of contempt proceedings and summoning the officers who are members of the special committee to explain the delay in executing the top court's verdict.
 

 

 

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