SC asks Centre to explore possibility of restoring 4G services in certain areas of JK

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday directed the e Jammu and Kashmir administration to explore the possibility of restoring 4G services in certain areas in the Union Territory. It is to be noted that hig-speed internet has been suspended the valley since August last year when Centre abrogated special status of erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.
The Jammu and Kashmir administration sought more time, saying thatnew Lt Governor has been appointed in the Union Manoj Sinha has been appointed the new LG of Jammu and Kashmir after G C Murmu resigned from the post. A bench of Justices N V Ramana, R Subhash Reddy, and B R Gavai heard the matter. The bench has adjourned the hearing for August 11.The apex court informed the administration that change of LG has no bearing on the matter as a special committee has been appointed to look into the issue. An NGO filea comtempt plea seeking restoration of 4G internet service in the UT. The plea sought initiation of contempt proceedings against the Union Home Secretary and Chief Secretary of J-K for their alleged “wilful disobedience” in complying with the court’s May 11 order.
The bench argued that the court cannot say what the situation is on the ground level but the issue is that the matter should not be delayed.The bench told Mehta that he has to explain as under what circumstances the LG had reportedly said that the 4G internet service can be restored and what was the basis of that statement by the LG. “What is the basis of the decision that has been taken? Is there a possibility that in some areas 4G Internet services can be restored? Is there anything that can be done?” the bench asked. In response, Mehta said that directions for a review of the matter are being complied with. He pointed out that J&K Lieutenant Governor had since been changed. “We need time to get instructions and file a response,” said Mehta. The top court told Mehta there is no question of further adjournments on the matter, and said that the Attorney General must be present on the next date of hearing with the Centre`s stand on this issue.
Earlier, Senior Advocate Huzefa Ahmadi, representing the Foundation for Media Professional, argued that Mehta had in the last hearing appeared for the Union Territory of J&K. “On the last date of hearing, they said they want to go through the rejoinder filed by the petitioners. It is apparent that they are taking time,” he added. The bench noted that the petitioners have relied on a statement given by the then LG, but he has since been changed. The bench asked Ahmadi to wait for a few more days. “We need to see what the government has to say. Then we will see if there is any contempt,” noted the bench. The court posted the matter for further hearing in the next week.

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