The Supreme Court on Thursday held that Internet services can be stopped temporarily by a state government to maintain law and order situation, and that such a ban did not violate fundamental rights. “What is wrong with such a ban? There can be such a ban for law and order,” observed a bench of Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justice R Bhanumathi, while upholding the Gujarat High Court’s judgment declaring the ban right.
The petitioner’s counsel, Apar Gupta, argued that the ban imposed under Criminal Procedure Code was not legally tenable since there is a special law — the Telegraph Act — to deal with such situation.
Gupta said a special law overrides the general statute and therefore the ban should not have been imposed under Section 144.
But the bench said there can be concurrent powers.
“It becomes very necessary sometimes for law and order. There can be concurrent powers,” it said. The court was hearing an appeal filed by Gaurav Sureshbhai Vyas, who challenged the Gujarat High Court verdict on ban on mobile Internet that was imposed by the state government for around 10 days during the Patidar stir last year. The ban was imposed under section 144 of CrPC.