Journalistic bodies oppose communication and movement restrictions in Kashmir before the Supreme Court

In the ongoing hearings before the Supreme Court, senior advocates for the Indian Journalists Union (IJU) and the Foundation for Media Professionals (FMP) argued against the severe communication and movement restrictions imposed in Kashmir. Mr. Huzefa Ahmadi appearing on behalf of IJU compared the government’s stance in the present case to the infamous majority decision in ADM Jabalpur v. Shivkant Shukla during the Emergency. He further urged the Court to consider the proportionality of the restrictions and whether they were narrowly tailored and the least restrictive alternative available to the government. Mr. Dushyant Dave appearing for the Foundation for Media Professionals extensively cited the Constituent Assembly Debates to emphasize the Supreme Court’s role as the guardian of fundamental rights against executive action which always favours social control over individual liberty. He also relied upon a recent Kerala High Court decision and the National Telcom Policy 2012 to argue that in a digitized world where internet connectivity is necessary to access essential services, access to the internet is a fundamental right.

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