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4G in Kashmir: SC says no more adjournments, asks if service can be resumed in some areas

New Delhi:  The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Centre and the Jammu and Kashmir administration that authorities concerned must come up with a definite stand on the possibility of restoring 4G services in select areas of the Union Territory.

The apex court emphasised that this matter cannot be delayed any further.

 

A bench comprising Justices NV Ramana, R Subhash Reddy and BR Gavai asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta: “What is the basis of the decision that has been taken? Is there a possibility that in some areas 4G Internet services can be restored? Is there anything that can be done?”

In response, Mehta said that directions for a review of the matter are being complied with. He pointed out that J&K Lieutenant Governor had since been changed.

“We need time to get instructions and file a response,” said Mehta.

Accordingly, the matter has been adjourned to August 11.

The top court told Mehta there is no question of further adjournments on the matter, and said that the Attorney General must be present on the next date of hearing with the Centre’s stand on this issue.

Earlier, Senior Advocate Huzefa Ahmadi, representing the Foundation for Media Professional, argued that Mehta had in the last hearing appeared for the Union Territory of J&K. “On the last date of hearing, they said they want to go through the rejoinder filed by the petitioners. It is apparent that they are taking time,” he added.

The bench noted that the petitioners have relied on a statement given by the then LG, but he has since been changed. The bench asked Ahmadi to wait for a few more days.

“We need to see what the government has to say. Then we will see if there is any contempt,” noted the bench.

The court posted the matter for further hearing in the next week.

The apex court was hearing a petition for contempt of court action against officials for allegedly defying court orders on the constitution of a special committee to review the Internet restrictions in J&K.