Punjab & Haryana HC issues notice to Centre, Haryana over Internet suspension

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On Friday, the High Court of Punjab & Haryana issued a notice to the Centre & Haryana Govt over the suspension of internet services in the state over the farmers’ agitation. The Haryana Govt suspended internet services in 17 districts after the violence during the farmers’ tractor rally on Republic Day.

While the Haryana Govt justified the suspension as being part of measures to prevent disinformation & spread of rumours, farmers’ unions allege the move was aimed at disrupting their protest.

A plea was filed against the suspension of internet services in the Punjab & Haryana HC by multiple petitioners through Lawyer R.S. Bains.

The news agency reported the petition said, “Internet services now stands as part of fundamental rights because to exercise almost every freedom, from expression to practice any profession, internet has become a lifeline.” The plea referred to the adverse impact of the internet shutdown on business activity. The plea described the suspension of internet services as “an act of maliciousness inflicted on the people of Haryana” to deter support for the farmers’ agitation.

The plea sought the immediate restoration of internet services & declaration of any such sudden suspensions without notice as “illegal, unconstitutional,” the news agency reported.

The plea also sought that the Govt give prior notice of seven days for suspension of internet services.

Hearing the plea, the bench of Justice Fatehdeep Singh issue a notice to the Centre & Haryana Govts. The matter has been posted for further hearing on Monday. 

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