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Supreme Court Refuses to Consider Plea Against Internet Shutdown in Manipur

By Harshvardhan Sharma      06 July, 2023 11:05 PM      0 Comments
Supreme Court Refuses to Consider Plea Against Internet Shutdown in Manipur

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to entertain a plea against the internet shutdowns imposed in Manipur since May 3 following the ethnic violence, after noting that the High Court was already seized of the matter.

A bench of Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud and Justices P S Narasimha and Manoj Mishra told advocate Shadan Farasat, appearing for two Manipur residents since a division bench in HC is considering the issue, he should approach there.

The counsel claimed an expert committee, formed by the High Court, was rather looking at the possibilities of how to continue with the ban.

The bench, however, said the moment, it issued notice in the matter, the High Court would stop looking into the matter.

The counsel also claimed the issue of proportionality of measure was to be examined.

Manipur residents Chongtham Victor Singh and Mayengbam James, in their plea, contended that 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.

Over 120 people had reportedly been killed and several hundreds were injured in clashes which broke out in Manipur since May 3 after the High Court's judgement to consider granting Scheduled Tribes status to Hindu Meitei community.

 



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