FMP sends representation to J&K govt on netbandi
The Foundation for Media Professionals (FMP) has sent a representation to the administration of Jammu & Kashmir for compliance of the Supreme Courts directions on internet services.
The FMP has called for the J&K department to comply with the directions of the Supreme Court in the Anuradha Bhasin case following the indefinite shut down of internet services in J&K.
The representation can be read here:
Lawyers associated withe the Internet Freedom Foundation provided legal advice for and assisted with the drafting of this representation.
The restrictions were launched simultaneous to the announcement of abrogation of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution by the Indian parliament. The centre and the state had said that the internet shutdowns and other restrictions in J&K were made in national interest.
The Supreme Court had issued a number of directions that can be easily read here:
The directions were based on a petition filed by Anuradha Bhasin, the executive editor of the Kashmir Times. FMP and the Indian Journalists Union had filed respective intervention applications before the Supreme Court and their arguments were heard by the apex court, which passed its judgement in January 2020.
Following the directions, the internet ban was lifted but with several rides such as services available only on 2G bandwidth whereas the digitisation of almost all utilities in India requires high-speed internet available through broadband or 4G internet. Besides, the smartphone has become a mini-computer, especially for those who cant afford to buy both.
The withholding of the internet services affects the freedom of the press and violates several Constitutional rights including the publics right to know.