New Delhi, January 10 (KMS): The Indian Supreme Court, today, directed the authorities in occupied Kashmir to review within 7 days all orders directing suspension of internet services in the territory.

The Supreme Court delivered its verdict on a batch of pleas including that of Congress leader, Ghulam Nabi Azad, challenging the restrictions imposed in Kashmir following repeal of its special status on August 05, last year.

Justice N V Ramana led bench said, complete shutdown of internet is illegal and a drastic measure and government can resort to this only when there is no other alternative to deal with a situation.

The court said, internet services are intrinsic to right to free speech and cannot be suspended without providing reason and duration thereof.

The Supreme Court said, magistrates, while passing prohibitory orders, should apply mind and follow doctrine of proportionality. It said, whenever the government decides to suspend internet, it must give detailed reason for the decision to allow aggrieved persons to challenge it in appropriate court. Mere expression of dissent or disagreement against a government’s decision cannot be reason for Internet suspension, it added.

A bench of Justice N V Ramana, Justice R Subhash Reddy and Justice B R Gavai had reserved the judgment on November 27, last year.


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