Kashmir: Indefinite Suspension of Internet Not Permissible, Review Orders in a Week, Says SC

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday stated that the Internet ban in Jammu and Kashmir without limiting it to a particular duration is not only violation of the telecom rules, but also of the freedom of speech and expression granted by the Constitution.

The three-judge bench comprising justices N.V. Ramana, R. Subhash Reddy and B.R. Gavai, after hearing a clasp of petitions challenging the constitutionality of the Centre’s decision to lockdown Jammu and Kashmir following reading down of Article 370 since August last year, pointed out that freedom of speech and expression includes the right to recieve and disseminate information.

The apex court asked the J&K administration to review all restrictive orders imposed within a week.

The Internet has been suspended for more than 150 days in Kashmir, making it the longest blackout in any democracy.

The court asked the administration to publish every order of restriction under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) to enable those affected by them to challenge it. The bench added that any order passed will be subject to judicial review.

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