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The Supreme Court on 10th January ordered the government to review “forthwith” any existing orders that restrict basic rights and free movement in Jammu and Kashmir.

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Jammu and Kashmir Union Territories

Supreme Court and basic rights

  • The court upheld the freedoms of free speech, expression and trade or business on the Internet as fundamental rights to be constitutionally protected.
  • It, however, refused to express any views on whether the very access to the Internet is a fundamental right or not.
  • The Supreme Court directed the government to review orders suspending Internet services in the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir instantly.
  • It ordered any order suspending the Internet found to violate the law should be revoked at once.
  • Supreme court further instructed the government to consider restoring government websites, localised/limited e-banking facilities, hospital services and other essential services in areas in the Union Territory, where it was otherwise not thinking to do so immediately.

Background:

What has happened after removal of article 370?

  • Following the Abrogation of Article 370 from J&K, the Indian Government had passed the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Bill, 2019 which contains the provisions to reconstitute the state into two separate Union territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.
  • While the new UT of J&K will have an assembly like the existing UTs of Delhi and Puducherry, the UT of Ladakh will be directly governed by the Central Government.
  • This bill came into full effect by October 31, 2019.
  • With this bill, the Government had also dissolved the IAS & IPS cadres of Jammu & Kashmir and now all officers are part of the existing Central government pool of bureaucrats.
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