Recently, the Allahabad High Court has registered a suo moto cognizance of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) Petition with reference to shutdown of internet services in the State of Uttar Pradesh on 20-12-2019.
Number of Lawyers led by Sri Ravi Kiran Jain, Senior Advocate, Sri Anurag Khanna, Senior Advocate and Sri Rakesh Pande, Senior Advocate and President of the Allahabad High Court Bar Association have mentioned that the judicial system would be adversely affected as it is dependent on the internet services for publication and distribution of cause lists, uploading and downloading of orders, checking of case status, display board, etc. Further, not only the judicial functioning, but the banking activities, administrative activities, educational activities, medical activities, traffic movement, and many other Government and public activities would suffer major setbacks due to internet shutdown. According to the Learned Advocates, there may be certain administrative exigencies for suspending the internet services, but that must be a rarest of rare phenomenon.
Moreover, the right to have continuous internet services in the present era is an extension of the right to live and, as such, discontinuation of that is in violation of Article 21 of the Constitution of India.
Having considered all aspects of the matter, the Hon’ble Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court, Justice Govind Mathur pointed out that we deem it appropriate to direct the Registry to register a writ petition in PIL jurisdiction in the name of “Reference to the discontinuation of Internet services by the State Authorities”. Notice be issued to the State of Uttar Pradesh.
THE INDIAN LAWYER