Our Bureau

New Delhi

The Supreme Court on Monday set up a 3-member special committee headed by the Union Home Secretary to immediately decide on the ban imposed on the 4G internet connection in whole of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir in terms of its earlier ruling on January 10 in the case of Anuradha Bhasin vs. Union of India (2020) SCC Online SC 25.

The decision came by a 3-judge Bench headed by Justice NV Ramana, with Justices R Subhash Reddy and BR Gavai as the other two judges, while disposing of the pleas by the Foundation for Media Professionals, J&K Private Schools Association and Soayib and sending the paperbooks to the special committee for resolving the issue.

On its order in the Anuradha Bhasin case for placing every order restricting the internet before a review committee, the Bench said since the issues involved "affect the State and the Nation" cannot be addressed satisfactorily only by the state-level officers and hence formation of the special committee comprising the secretaries at national and state level. The committee's two other members are Union Communication Secretary and the Chief Secretary of J&K.

The Bench asked it not only to examine contentions of the petitioners and the respondents -- Centre and J&K government -- but also examine the alternative suggested by the petitioners to limit the restrictions to those areas where it is necessary and allow faster internet (3G or 4G) on a trial basis over certain geographical areas and advise the J&K authorities in terms of the court's earlier directions.

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