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4G services to be restored in one district each of J&K, Centre tells SC

BusinessToday.In     August 11, 2020

In a major decision, the Centre has told the Supreme Court today that a special committee has decided to allow 4G services on a trial basis in one district each of Jammu and Kashmir from August 15.

Attorney General KK Venugopal, who represented the Centre, told the Supreme Court, the border areas along the Line of Control and the International Border have been kept out of these relaxations but low-intensity areas may be the first one to get 4G services restored after suspension.

The SC was told that the government will review the situation after two months. High-speed internet services were suspended in J&K after the government scrapped special status to the state last year, dividing it into UTs of J&K and Ladakh.

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On May 11, the top court had ordered setting up of a "special committee" headed by the Union Home Secretary to consider pleas for restoration of 4G internet services in J-K, saying national security and human rights need to be balanced in view of the fact that the UT has been "plagued with militancy".

The Centre and Jammu and Kashmir administration last month told the SC that a special committee has been set up as per the court's directive on the issue of restoration of 4G internet services in the Union Territory. The decision came after the Foundation for Media Professionals approached the top court over contempt action against the Centre and the J&K governments for not complying with the SC order in constituting a special committee in line with the top court's order.

On May 27, the Jammu and Kashmir administration had passed an order continuing the restriction on mobile internet speeds to 2G in all districts throughout the UT without any restriction by time or region. The former LG GC Murmu-led J&K administration had opposed the restoration of 4G mobile services in Jammu and Kashmir, citing terror threats.

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