Supreme Court order on Kashmir a big jolt to Modi govt: Congress

Srinagar

The Congress on Friday said the Supreme Court has given a big jolt to the Modi government’s “illegal activities” by ruling that access to the internet is a fundamental right and that dissent cannot be oppressed by the imposition of prohibitory orders.

Randeep Singh Surjewala

“SC delivers first big jolt of 2020 to illegal activities of Modi Govt by stating the importance of internet as a fundamental right. Double shock for Modi-Shah that dissent cannot be oppressed by imposing section 144. Modiji reminded that nation bows before Constitution and not him!” Surjewala wrote on Twitter.

The Congress’ reaction came soon after the Supreme Court asked the Jammu and Kashmir administration to restore internet services within a week at essential institutions and noted that access to the internet is a fundamental right under Article 19 of the Constitution.

The Supreme Court directed the administration of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) to view all its restrictive orders within a week and publish them publicly for them to raised before a court of law. The court orders come as blow to the Centre that has been garnering support for its move in the valley.

A bench headed by Justice N.V. Ramana said : “The court will not go into the political propriety (in connection with the restrictions in J&K).” The court observed its limited concern is to find a balance between liberty of citizens and their security, as in this case liberty and security are at loggerheads.

The Supreme Court in its verdict observed that the use of Internet enjoys constitutional protection as tool, which is under the ambit of freedom of speech and expression and also enables people to carry on with their respective profession.

On Section 144 of the CrPC, the apex court said it cannot be used to curb liberty, and this section can be used only where there is likelihood of incitement of violence and danger to public safety.

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