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Manipur High Court directs state govt to provide internet service to “whitelisted” mobile phones and select connections

It’s important to note that the Court has not yet deliberated upon the constitutionality of these shutdown orders when tested against the principle of proportionality.

The Manipur High Court (HC) on July 7 directed the state government to provide internet service through select methods on a case-to-case basis across the state while ensuring compliance with the safeguards suggested by a government-appointed Expert Committee, according to the order re-produced by LiveLaw. The HC has directed the state government to produce a detailed report on the directions (mentioned below) during the next hearing scheduled to take place on July 25, 2023. Internet services in different parts of Manipur were first cut off on April 27 (in a couple of districts) and in the following weeks, the same direction was extended to the entire State. It’s been more than 50 days that Manipur citizens have been living without access to the internet. Multiple petitions challenging the prolonged shutdown orders are being heard at the HC, in addition to a petition at the Supreme Court of India. The Supreme Court advised the petitioners to move the HC instead, in order to avoid delay in the pending petitions filed by Manipur residents at the HC. What did the HC say? The HC has directed the Home Department to lift the ban on providing internet services through Internet Lease Line (ILL)—a dedicated connection provided by an internet service provider with a fixed bandwidth—across the state on complying with safeguards laid out by the Expert Committee. The state government had constituted a 12-member Expert Committee to check the means to restore the internet safely without providing access to social media platforms, LiveLaw…

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Curious about the intersection of technology with education, caste and welfare rights. For story tips, please feel free to reach out at sarasvati@medianama.com

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