High Court directs state government not to ban internet service in the state

IMPHAL | Sept 25 : The High Court of Manipur has directed the state government to ensure that the broadband ‘Wifi’ of BSNL and other private service providers be made seamlessly available to the subscribers.

The directive was pronounced today by the division bench of the high court comprising of chief justice, Ramalingam Sudhakar and justice, N. Kotiswar following the public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Paojel Chaoba, senior reporter of IFP regarding the shutting down of mobile data services by the state government.

The mobile data service of Manipur was shut down by the state government for five days following the raid inside the hostels of Manipur University by state forces during the intervening night of September 20 and September 21.

The raid was taken up following the FIR lodged by Manipur University pro vice-chancellor, K. Yugindro to Singjamei police station against the varsity community as per the directive of chief minister, N. Biren Singh.

According to the PIL filed by Paojel Chaoba it stated that considering the difficulties faced by various section of the people of the state at the instance of the issuance of the impugned order no. 1/1(3)/2008-H dated September 21 issued by the special secretary (home) suspending all forms of telecom services except voice calls within the state for the next five day starting from September 21, the suspension of the mobile data services has resulted in facing immense trouble to the youths and aspiring students of the state who strive for enhancement of their respective profession as well as career in different fields.

The impugned order has grossly affected every section of people such as doctors, engineers, lawyers, teachers, media persons, academicians, businessmen, entrepreneurs, students community and many more, it added.

The petitioner counsel, Pushpa Gurumayum prayed to issue a writ in the nature of certiorari or mandamus for quashing the impugned order dated September 21 which effected in the suspension of internet services considering the loss faced by the sections of the people faced living in the state.

The petitioner counsel also prayed to direct the government not to resort to the banning of the internet services as a means of governance for each and every issue arising from time to time in the state as the same is violating the fundamental rights guaranteed by the constitution of India.

She further prayed to stay the operation of the impugned order dated September 21 immediately to allow the access of internet services to the people of the state.

The court has fixed September 27 for the next hearing of the PIL.

Source: Imphal Free Press.