New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday refused urgent hearing on a plea by two Manipur residents against the repeated internet shutdowns in the state rocked by ethnic violence.
A vacation bench of justices Aniruddha Bose and Rajesh Bindal said the high court is already seized of a similar issue.
“The HC is hearing the matter. What’s the need to duplicate proceedings? Mention before the regular bench,” it said.
Advocate Shadan Farasat mentioned the matter before the bench seeking urgent hearing
The top court was hearing a plea filed by Chongtham Victor Singh and Mayengbam James.
The plea said the shutdown was “grossly disproportionate” in its interference with the constitutional right to freedom of speech and expression, and the right to carry on any trade or business using the constitutionally protected medium of the internet.
It said the measure has had a significant economic, humanitarian, social and psychological impact on both the petitioners and their families.
The petition contended that 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.
“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.
The suspension of mobile data services, including broadband, has been extended till 3 pm of June 10, an order issued by Commissioner (Home) H Gyan Prakash had said. The ban was imposed on May 3.
Nearly 100 people have lost their lives and 310 others injured in the ethnic violence in Manipur. A total of 37,450 people are currently sheltered in 272 relief camps.
Clashes first broke out in the northeastern state on May 3 after a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribes (ST) status.
Over the past four years, EastMojo revolutionised the coverage of Northeast India through our sharp, impactful, and unbiased coverage. And we are not saying this: you, our readers, say so about us. Thanks to you, we have become Northeast India’s largest, independent, multimedia digital news platform.
Now, we need your help to sustain what you started.
We are fiercely protective of our ‘independent’ status and would like to remain so: it helps us provide quality journalism free from biases and agendas. From travelling to the remotest regions to cover various issues to paying local reporters honest wages to encourage them, we spend our money on where it matters.
Now, we seek your support in remaining truly independent, unbiased, and objective. We want to show the world that it is possible to cover issues that matter to the people without asking for corporate and/or government support. We can do it without them; we cannot do it without you.
Support independent journalism, subscribe to EastMojo.
Meiteis account for about 53 per cent of Manipur’s population and live mostly in the Imphal Valley. Tribals Nagas and Kukis constitute another 40 per cent of the population and reside in the hill districts.
Around 10,000 Army and Assam Rifles personnel have been deployed in the state to restore peace.
- Arunachal Congress slams China over treatment of Wushu players
- Mizoram: Former ZPM members speak out, allege deception
- I’ve just been diagnosed with cancer, now what?
- Centre to provide in-kind aid to Manipur IDPs in Mizoram
- Man survives bear attack in Mizoram
- Refusal of visa to Arunachal athletes against Olympic charter: Anurag Thakur