Objection raised: The High Court had ordered that Internet service could be provided on a case-to-case basis in the State. | Photo Credit: PTI
The Supreme Court on July 17 asked the Manipur government to approach the State High Court to reconsider its decision to restore limited internet service.
Appearing before a Bench led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, for Manipur, highlighted the risk of misuse of social media which may create further violence in the restive State.
“Any rumor may ignite the situation… Discretion should not be in the hands of the people on the ground,” Mr. Mehta submitted.
The Bench asked the State to approach the High Court and present the problems which may accompany the restoration of the internet at this stage.
“You can present before the High Court the difficulties that may arise with the restoration of the internet… We are not going to get into the merits. Let the High Court look into it,” Chief Justice Chandrachud addressed the Solicitor General.
In an earlier hearing, the State had argued that the “situation in the State keeps changing very fast” and the High Court order had been premature.
On July 7, the High Court had directed the State government to carry out physical trials to check the feasibility of providing internet service while ensuring security and property of citizens.
After hearing multiple PILs, a Division Bench of the High Court had said, “In the case of Fiber To The Home (FTTH) connections, internet service can be provided by the home department on a case-to-case basis” after ensuring compliance of the safeguards suggested by the committee.
The 12-member expert committee had informed the court that internet service could be provided through broadband connections, either through Internet Leased Line (ILL) or FTTH by ensuring “static IP, banning of Wi fi/Hotspots from any of the routers or system, blocking of social media websites and VPNs at the local level, removal of VPN software from the system and prohibiting installation of new software by any user and enforcing physical monitoring by the concerned authority/officials.”