New Delhi: The Government of India has told Supreme Court that it will take a call on restoring 4G on a trial basis in select districts of Kashmir and Jammu divisions after August 15.
“The Center today submitted to the Supreme Court that a Committee is considering as to whether allowing 4G internet access on a trial basis in one district in Jammu and one in Kashmir or not. Easing will come into effect after 15 August, the Centre said,” ANI reported.
The Supreme Court last 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.
On July 26,former J&K LG, GC Murmu had told a national newspaper that the high-speed 4G internet will not create any problem.
“I feel that 4G will not be a problem. I am not afraid of how people will use this. Pakistan will do its propaganda, whether it is 2G or 4G. It will always be there… But I don’t see an issue,” Murmu told The Indian Express in an interview.
This was contrary to the central government’s stand on the issue. In an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court (SC) on July 21, Centre had said that a special committee set up to examine the demands for restoring 4G services, following the orders of the court on May 11, had met twice on May 15 and June 10 and decided that “no further relaxation of the restrictions on Internet services, including 4G services, would be carried out at present”.
After Murmu’s statement, Centre was so embarrassed that it had to tell the SC that it will verify media reports claiming that Lieutenant Governor advocated the restoration of 4G internet services.