Monday, October 2, 2023

Lawyer files plea in Supreme Court against internet shutdown in Manipur

Want create site? Find Free WordPress Themes and plugins.

A Manipur-based lawyer has filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the indefinite internet ban imposed by the state government on May 3, after violence broke out in the hill state.

Filed by Advocate Chongtham Victor Singh and businessman Mayengbam James, the plea contended that residents of the state were experiencing numerous problems due to the statewide internet shutdown, which was continuing in the state, even after a ‘clear’ and ‘admitted’ de-escalation of the situation. 

It said the government of Manipur has repeatedly issued orders for statewide internet shutdown, which has resulted in the residents experiencing feelings of fear, anxiety, helplessness and frustration.

The plea further said that people in the state could not send their children to school, were unable to access their bank accounts, receive or send payments, obtain essential supplies and medicines, which has brought their lives and livelihoods to a standstill.

It said the internet shutdown was badly affecting the personal, professional and social relationships of the residents as they were not able to communicate with their loved ones or office colleagues.

On March 27, the Single-Judge Judge Bench of Justice M.V. Muralidharan had ordered the state government to ‘consider’ inclusion of the Meetei/Meitei community in the Scheduled Tribe list within four weeks from the date of the order.

This led to widespread clashes between tribal and non-tribal communities of the state, which claimed around 90 lives and injured many.

A writ appeal was filed in the High Court, challenging the order passed by Justice Muralidharan. A Division Bench then issued notice on the matter and listed the case for hearing on June 6.

On May 26, the government of Manipur had issued suspension of internet with immediate effect.

The petition said the government orders cited law & order and anti-social elements, rather than public order for the latest extension, as the same did not go through the oversight of the Review Committee as necessary in law.

It further submitted that the orders were grossly disproportionate as they prevented residents from exercising their fundamental rights of freedom of speech and freedom to carry on trade and occupation.

As per the plea, the suspension orders did not explicitly mention the reasons under Article 19(2) of the Constitution.

Therefore, the government violated Rule 2(2) of the Telecom Suspension Rules and did not pass constitutional muster. For this reason alone, the orders must be declared unconstitutional and illegal.

It said the internet ban did not serve a legitimate goal and did not have a direct nexus with the purpose of law and order, given the ground situation at present.

Did you find apk for android? You can find new Free Android Games and apps.

News Update