A PIL was filed in the Supreme Court today seeking restoration of Internet Services at 4G speed in the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir to combat with Novel Coronavirus.
The Central government had imposed a complete communications blackout in the erstwhile state of J&K in August 2019, right after abrogation of Article 370. Later on, the Supreme Court found it illegal and had ordered accordingly, due to which after 5 months in January, 2020 the services were partially restored, only at 2G speed for mobile users.
The petitioner stated in its petition that at this critical period of health crisis, the Central Government has to ensure access to the “digital infrastructure” to make the Right to Health of citizens effective.
It was further represented in the petition that due to slow internet services, the patients, doctors and the general public of Jammu & Kashmir are unable to access the latest information, guidelines, advisories, and restrictions about COVID-19 that are being made available and continuously updated online on a daily basis. In continuation, various public health practitioners, medical professionals, and doctors have repeatedly expressed their concern about wasting precious time trying to download the latest studies, protocols, manuals and advisories on treatment and management of COVID-19.
The Central Government has mandate “Work from Home” policy across the country but it would make it impossible in Jammu & Kashmir with restricted internet speeds especially for the IT business and for the IT enabled sector (ITES) along with educational institutions, asserted by the petitioner.
–India Legal Bureau