A PIL has been filed in Supreme Court seeking directions to Mobile Network Service Providers for providing completely free and unlimited calling and data usage facilities to their subscribers for the period of lockdown declared by the Government of India.
It also seeks directions to DTH/Satellite TV Service Providers for providing completely free and unlimited viewing facility of their channels and other contents to their subscribers for a period of lockdown as declared by the Government of India.
It said, that it will be helpful to the citizen who are being directed to stay indoors or in isolation called quarantine, on the direction of the Government. If such directions are not passed there is probability that respondents will not provide any free services of communication and entertainment to the citizens during lockdown which is detrimental to the life and liberty of the citizens. It will result in injury to the psychological health of the public at large thereby resulting in violation of Right to life guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.
It is mentioned in the PIL that humans are social and emotional beings who requires social interactions, various modes of entertainment to keep their psychological well-being in good form. In the present situation, wherein the persons who are stranded alone without their families or in quarantine requires constant support of their family-members and near and dear ones. The said constant touch/communication is only possible today through digital means, since physical interaction itself is cause of the spread. Hence, it is imperative on the parts of the Govt. of India to provide all facilities of unlimited calling free to all citizens of the country immediately.
It further contended that watching various shows on streaming websites can be helpful in lowering the psychological stress caused by confinement during lockdown, apart from the social interactions by way of talking, video calling, other modes of digital entertainment like watching TV channels on satellite TVs (DTH).
Due to psychological pressures as per reports, 3 persons committed suicide due to fear of Corona virus. People had expectation that they would get opportunity to meet their family members after lockdown, but now lockdown has been extended. So, the petition has been filed in these circumstances so that social interaction and entertainment which is basic human need is fulfilled and respondents maybe directed to provide these free of cost so that people in lockdown may utilise it, said the PIL.
-India Legal Bureau