Recap Part I: Kashmir Communication Shutdown and Movement Restrictions Cases

Part I of the Recap summarizes the arguments made by the petitioners and the government about statutory compliance of the orders issued under the Telecom Suspension Rules 2017 and Section 144, Cr.P.C. The orders under the Telecom Suspension Rules 2017 were assailed by the petitioners for lacking application of mind, being issued by an unauthorized official and for not being reviewed by the Review Committee constituted under the Rules. The government defended the orders by emphasizing that they were confirmed by the competent authority under the Rules and it was necessary to shut down communication channels because terrorists use voice and data services to spread fake propaganda and incite masses. The orders under Section 144, Cr.P.C. were challenged by the petitioners for being unacceptably vague as they all use the same boilerplate language without mentioning any specific reasons necessitating their issuance.The government responded by urging the Court to not scrutinize the language of the orders too strictly because district magistrates are not legally trained persons. It also referred to various allegedly secessionist speeches made by political leaders in Kashmir which had the potential of inciting public disorder, and it argued that such provocative speeches along with undisclosed intelligence inputs demonstrated the necessity of imposing restrictions under Section 144, Cr.P.C.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at