The Gujarat High Court on Tuesday rejected a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking declaration of mobile internet ban a violation of fundamental right. The division bench, led by acting Chief Justice Jayant Patel, upheld the state government’s decision that banning internet services during Patel agitation for reservation was “just and proper”.
The bench had concluded the hearing last week and had reserved its order. While rejecting the petition the court held that banning mobile internet as well as text messages were in good faith since it was done in order to maintain law and order. The petitioner had sought the court’s intervention in declaring the ban on mobile internet as illegal and prayed for action against the concerned authorities.
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The petitioner had requested the court to give directions to the government so that such bans are not imposed in the future. The petition mentioned that given the power of section-144 of the CrPC, which can restrict grouping of more than five persons, there was no need to impose a ban on internet.
The petitioner had also said that such a ban violates fundamental rights.
The court order stated, “The degree of protection of the right under Article 21 of the constitution cannot be fully equated with the protection of fundamental rights available to a citizen under Article 19 (1) of the Constitution since the rights under Article 19 (1) are subject to reasonable restrictions.”