On May 11, 2020, the Supreme Court disposed of the petition on internet speed restrictions. The Foundation of Media Professionals filed this petition. The petition pertained to the issue relating to the restoration of the 4G network in the state of Jammu & Kashmir. However, the Supreme court refrained from passing any directions whatsoever on the issue. Rather, the Court directed the Centre to constitute a ‘Special Committee’ to examine the issues raised by the petitioner. Adding to it, the court directed ensuring of balance between human rights and national security.
The Petitioner’s Counsel argued that doctors are not able to function effectively in the presence of internet speed restrictions. The number of patients infected by COVID-19 is continuously increasing in the state. Being that, doctors need high-speed internet to access the latest updates about COVID-19 and for online consultations with the patients. The petitioner argued that the right to access to healthcare should be given utmost importance.
On the other hand, the opposition held on to the claim that high-speed net can, and has lead to terrorism. However, the petitioner’s counsel refuted such a claim while stating that terrorist activities happened in the state even in the absence of the internet.
Taking note of the contentions, the court referred to the Anuradha Bhasin Case; whereby it urged the need for adequate procedural safeguards. In effect, the Special Committee is directed to be constituted to deal with internet speed restrictions. The Committee has to examine the contentions made by the petitioner; to check whether the contentions are appropriate. Moreover, it has to come up with an alternate remedy. The Secretary of Ministry of Home affairs will head the committee.