Manipur internet ban: SC declines urgent hearing of plea against repeated shutdowns

Supreme Court of India. Photo: PTI

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday refused urgent hearing on a plea by two Manipur residents against the repeated internet shutdowns in the state rocked by ethnic violence. A vacation bench of Justices Aniruddha Bose and Rajesh Bindal said the high court is already seized of a similar issue.

"The HC is hearing the matter. What's the need to duplicate proceedings? Mention before the regular bench," it said.

Advocate Shadan Farasat mentioned the matter before the bench seeking urgent hearing. The top court was hearing a plea filed by Chongtham Victor Singh and Mayengbam James.

The plea said the shutdown was "grossly disproportionate" in its interference with the constitutional right to freedom of speech and expression, and the right to carry on any trade or business using the constitutionally protected medium of the internet.

The Manipur government on Tuesday extended the ban on internet services till June 10.

The suspension of mobile data services, including broadband, has been extended till 3 pm of June 10, an order issued by Commissioner (Home) H Gyan Prakash said. The ban was imposed on May 3.

Violence broke out in the northeastern state on May 3 when people from the Meitei community and the Kuki tribe clashed with each other over the Meiteis' demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.  

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.