New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday refused to pass orders directing restoration of 4G services in Jammu and Kashmir, instead forming a three-member high-power committee to look into contentions made by various petitioners. Also Read - IMD Forecast Now Includes PoK, Gilgit-Baltistan in Jammu and Kashmir
The committee, notably, will be headed by Secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and also comprise Secretary of the Ministry of Communications and Chief Secretary of the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. Also Read - Jammu and Kashmir: Mobile Internet Services Suspended as Forces Trap Hizbul Terrorist; Encounter Underway
Delivering its order today, a three-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Justice NV Ramana said that it has to ensure that national security and human rights are balanced.
“We do recognize that union territory has plunged into crisis. At the same time, court is cognizant to the concerns related to ongoing pandemic and hardships,” Justice Ramana further said.
Notably, the case pertains to three pleas filed in the top court against ban on 4G mobile internet services in the Valley, which, on April 27, was extended till May 11. The nationwide lockdown, the third phase of which is currently underway, is scheduled to end on May 17.
The petitioners, in their plea, had argued that 4G services were required for healthcare, education, trade and business in the union territory during this hour of crisis due to coronavirus.
Countering this, the Jammu and Kashmir administration had said that doing this would lead to ‘anti-national’ activities and militancy, giving example of the recent Handwara encounter in which four Armymen, including a Colonel and a Major, and a sub-inspector of the Jammu and Kashmir Police were martyred.
The SC had reserved its order in the case on May 4.
Till 8 AM today, the Valley recorded 25 new cases of coronavirus, which took its COVID-19 count to 861, including 383 patients who have been cured, as well as nine deaths.