Internet a fundamental right, review suspension: SC on J&K communication shutdown – An Analysis
India is a republic country. The constitution of India has provided several rights to the citizens of India and some of them to the foreigners that protect their life and interest. According to article 19 (1) of the Indian constitution, the individual has provided with the right to freedom of speech and expression. No one can be deprived of his/her right as it is protected by the justice system of India. Earlier means of conveying our messages was either TV media or via face to face communication.
But now in the 21st century, everything has just changed and also in the mediums of communication. Today, the biggest source of information is internet consisting of various other social media handles. Due to these other platforms and internet facilities, the person feels that he is more powerful and no one is going to catch him because he had hidden his identity. Moreover, as there is no authentication of the information that has been forwarded from, therefore, it is very easy to spread fake news.
Jammu and Kashmir was a bone of contention between India and Pakistan after the partition. Since the partition between the countries has been done in 1947, Article 370 was prevailing in the state. According to which Jammu and Kashmir will have their separate rule of law and a flag which separated them from the nation. A resolution has been passed by both the houses of the parliament and the Indian government has revoked the special status provided to Jammu and Kashmir on 5 August 2019. After this resolution on 31 October 2019, Jammu and Kashmir were divided into two Union Territories that are Jammu and Kashmir and the other one is Ladakh.
Since there is a repercussion of Article 370, the terrorism activities have been brought down and the army is very much successful in making India a terrorist-free country. To maintain the situation that provokes in Jammu and Kashmir, the central government has banned the use of internet in the area so that there is no communication or spread of any fraud information.
Over this issue, the Supreme Court of India has proposed that the suspension over the use of internet should be for a limited period of time and it is necessary to be gone through a judicial review system as per the remarks of Justice NV Ramana, R Subhash Reddy and BR Gavai. The communication was curbed for the last 160 days in the Kashmir Valley. In the furtherance of the same, the Central Government has also detained three former chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir that is Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mahbooba Mufti with hundreds of other protesters. The Gupkar gang wants that Article 370 should again be there in Jammu and Kashmir so as to protect the integrity of the state. The decision of the central government over this issue has come in the eyes of the judicial system. The government in its rescue said that proceedings have been done as per Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code. But this excuse is not maintainable by the court and the court said that center has no such infinite rights to decide over such issue which includes the rights of an individual.
Everyone has a right to enjoy his/her rights that are being provided to him by the Indian constitution. While enjoying individual’s rights one should also have to be aware of other individual rights. Rights and duties should have to go simultaneously. It can only be defined as my rights are your duty and your rights are my duty. Therefore, a person must take care of whether his enjoyment of rights is not affecting any other rights then only it can be justified.
Along with rights, the constitution has drawn some limitations over the use of the same for the sake of law and order. To maintain the integrity and peace of the country one should not have to cross the limitation line and only have to work for the welfare of the country.
Jamnalal Bajaj School of Legal Studies,