Advocate Manohar Pratap filed a petition before the Supreme Court. The petition sought court’s directions to entities like Reliance, Bharti Airtel, TataSky, Netflix, Amazon Retail and others to provide free uninterrupted and free services of calling, data usage, satellite TV usages and other allied services during the period of lockdown. The petition stated that such directions are necessary because the respondents will not provide any free services voluntarily. That is detrimental to the citizen’s life and personal liberty. It also causes injury to the psychological health of the public at large. Thus, it amounts to gross violation of the fundamental right enshrined under Art. 21 of the Indian constitution.
Contentions made in the Petition
The plea highlighted that humans are social and emotional beings. They need social interactions and various modes of entertainment to ensure their psychological well being. The petitioner elucidated that persons who are stranded alone without their families or in quarantine require constant support of near and dear ones. Constant communication is the only way to ensure this. It can take place through digital means. Therefore, “it is imperative on the part of government of India to provide all facilities of unlimited calling free to all citizens of the country immediately“.
The plea referred to certain reports. The reports informed about 3 persons who committed suicide in quarantine due to the fear of coronavirus. Thus, showing the psychological pressure. This necessitates the respondents to provide free services to satisfy the basic human needs of social interaction. Therefore, the petitioner prays the central government and other authorities for directions to Mobile services providers DTH/Satelite TV service providers to invoke relevant terms of agreement of licences granted to them. They must provide free and unlimited viewing facility of their channels and other content to their subscribers during the lockdown period.
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