On 21 April 2020, the Supreme Court asked the Central Government and Government of Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir to file their replies by Sunday, 26 April 2020.

Petitioner was represented by senior counsel Huzefa Ahmadi, along with Shadan Farasat and Apar Gupta. Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir of represented by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta while Union of India was represented by Attorney General KK Venugopal.

The Hindu, reported:

The Centre and the Jammu and Kashmir administration objected in the Supreme Court on Tuesday to the idea of restoring 4G mobile Internet connectivity in the Union Territory during the COVID-19 lockdown, saying it would affect national security.

However, petitioners, including the Foundation for Media Professionals, said the lack of proper access to 4G Net was handicapping business, education and health services during the lockdown.

Attorney General K.K. Venugopal cited militancy as a major hurdle in restoring 4G in the Valley. Hundreds violated the lockdown recently to attend the funeral of slain militants.

Petitioner’s counsel submitted that said students all over the country have started taking online classes, but students in Jammu and Kashmir are at a disadvantage due to the absence of 4G services.

Two fresh petitions seeking restoration of 4G internet services, filed by Soayib Quereshi and Private Schools Association of Jammu & Kashmir, were also listed along with FMP’s petition. Charu Ambwani, appearing for the Private Schools Association of Jammu & Kashmir contended that about 2200 schools are unable to hold classes due to lack of 4G internet thereby putting the future of several students at stake.

The Supreme Court, inter alia, passed the following order:

Let the counter affidavit be filed in the matter by Sunday i.e. the 26th April, 2020 with an advance copy to the learned Senior counsel appearing for the petitioner through e.mail.
List the matter on Monday, the 27th April, 2020.

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