Centre considering allowing 4G on trial from August 15 in Jammu and Kashmir. (File photo: PTI)
After a year of denial , BJP party led Modi Central Government has told the Supreme Court that a special committee looking into the issue of internet restoration in Jammu and Kashmir is considering allowing 4G internet access on a trial basis in the Union Territory.
Centre said that 4G access will be given in one district of Jammu region and one in Kashmir. The easing will come into effect after August 15.
Center says carefully calibrated easing of internet restrictions subject to strict monitoring in certain areas could be done on a trial basis in selected areas
However, it will not be in any area adjoining international border or the Line of Control. 4G internet restoration will only be done in areas that have low intensity of terrorist activities.
Attorney General KK Venugopal representing the Centre made the statements on restoring 4G internet in Jammu and Kashmir on a trial basis.
“It is submitted that the special committee held a third meeting on August 10 and consulted with local agencies in Jammu and Kashmir. Various options are being considered keeping in mind border security.
The committee is of the view that the threat perception in J&K continues to be high.
However, internet restrictions are not posing any hinderance to Covid care, education or business,” said the statement.
It added that given the current security scenario, it is not yet conducive to restore high-speed internet access to mobile phones.
Further, petitioner lawyer Huzefa Ahmadi told SC to keep the petition pending and review after a month as to what happens on the ground.
To this, Supreme Court said, “We have to see the other aspects of the situation there. We hope that the situation will improve. I don’t believe there is any need to keep the contempt matter pending”.
Ahmadi replied, “We are not pressing the contempt plea against the officials. We don’t want the threat of contempt hanging on them.
But two things may be noted- the issue of publication of all orders and the issue of review”.
The Supreme Court had on Friday asked the Jammu and Kashmir administration to explore the possibility of restoring 4G services in certain areas.
The apex court was hearing a plea of the NGO seeking initiation of contempt proceedings against the Union Home Secretary and Chief Secretary of JK for their alleged “wilful disobedience” in complying with the court’s May 11 order.
High-speed Internet service in J&K has been suspended since August last year when the Centre had announced revocation of its special status and bifurcation of the state into two UTs Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir.
Earlier, the Jammu and Kashmir administration had sought time to take instructions on the restoration of high-speed internet services, saying a new Lt Governor has been appointed in the Union Territory.
Manoj Sinha was appointed the new LG of Jammu and Kashmir after G C Murmu resigned from the post last week.
However, the top court told the administration that with the change of LG, nothing changes as the special committee is there to look into the issue.