After 2 years of internet shutdown, the Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) government has recently decided to restore 4G internet services in J&K. In an order that was passed by the Home Department of Government of Jammu & Kashmir stated that on the advice of a special committee that was formed the Home Department revokes all the restrictions on mobile data services and fixed-line internet connectivity. The aforementioned Special Committee was constituted as per the directions of the Supreme Court in the case of Foundation for Media Professionals v. Union Territory of J&K which was on the restoration of 4G services in the region since it was difficult for medical staff to communicate with no internet.
In the Anuradha Bhasin case, the petitioner approached the Supreme Court and challenged the restrictions on the internet and telecommunications which were imposed in J&K due to the fear of protest for taking away the special status of the region. The Court gave its verdict in Bhasin’s petition on January 10, 2020. The judgment stated that access to information and the freedom of trade and commerce through the internet are fundamental rights. So, the Centre was ordered to periodically review the orders passed for the restriction of internet services in the region. This led to internet services being partially restored, but only at 2G speed for mobile users. Also, access was provided only to selected “white-listed” sites, and social media was completely shut down.