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Supreme Court Declines Urgent Hearing on Plea Against Internet Shutdown in Manipur

By LAWSTREET NEWS NETWORK      13 June, 2023 12:56 AM      0 Comments
Supreme Court Declines Urgent Hearing on Plea Against Internet Shutdown in Manipur

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday declined to grant urgent hearing on a petition filed by two Manipur residents against the internet shutdowns in the state affected by ethnic violence.

A vacation bench of justices Aniruddha Bose and Rajesh Bindal took into consideration a submission made by Manipur state counsel and said the high court was already seisin of the matter.

"What's the need to duplicate proceedings? Mention before the regular bench," the court told the counsel who urgent hearing on the petition filed by Chongtham Victor Singh and Mayengbam James.

According to the petitioners, the internet shutdown was "grossly disproportionate" as it affected the constitutional right to freedom of speech and expression, and the right to carry on any trade or business.

The measure has had a significant economic, humanitarian, social and psychological impact on both the petitioners and their families, their plea claimed.

The residents of the state experienced feelings of "fear, anxiety, helplessness, and frustration" as a result of the shutdown, and have been unable to communicate with their loved ones or office colleagues, it further contended.

"Continued suspension of the internet for the purpose of preventing rumour-mongering and the spread of misinformation does not pass the threshold prescribed by the Telecom Suspension Rules, 2017," the plea said.

The Manipur government on Tuesday extended the ban on internet services till June 10.

Nearly 100 people have so far lost their lives and 310 others injured in the ethnic violence in Manipur as clashes broke out in the northeastern state on May 3 after the High Court's judgement to consider granting Scheduled Tribes (ST) status to Hindu Meitei community.



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