The Centre on Tuesday informed the Supreme Court that the special committee constituted to examine the restoration of 4G services in Jammu and Kashmir has agreed to provide the high-speed Internet access on a trial basis in limited areas.
Attorney General K.K. Venugopal appearing for the Centre before a bench headed by Justice N.V. Ramana said that restrictions on the Internet will be lifted on a trial basis at certain geographical locations.
The Centre informed the court that the relaxation from August 16, in one district each of Jammu and Kashmir division will be assessed after two months. The government also said that blanket restoration of 4G in the UT would not be possible due to threats to security.
The apex court remarked “this is a fairly a good start”, and commended the Centre’s decision. The bench also observed that it hoped the situation would improve and the access could later be expanded.
The Centre submitted that the special committee held its meeting on August 10, and explored multiple options in the backdrop of the security situation in the union territory. They recommended opening up of 4G in specified areas of low-intensity terrorist activities, not on the international border even in the trial basis.
Senior advocate Huzefa Ahmadi, appearing for the petitioner NGO, said: “Today is a good and a step forward at least some limited restoration has been made.”
Justice Ramana then closed the contempt case following the Centre’s submission.
The bench had given two weeks time to the Centre to file a reply on the intervention application. The contempt petition was filed by the NGO alleging that the Centre has not formed a special committee to review Internet restrictions in the UT despite the apex court’s order.