The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has asked for a status report on restoration of 4G services after it was informed that non-availability of high-speed internet was hampering studies of students who were confined to their homes because of the lockdown to curb coronavirus cases.
A division bench headed by Chief Justice Gita Mittal passed these directions after hearing amicus curiae Monika Kholi on a Public Interest Litigation.
Justice Mittal has been regularly reviewing the responses of the administrations of JK and Ladakh in tackling the coronavirus situation. She has been holding regular video-conference hearings with all stakeholders involved in the fight against COVID-19.
During the video-conference held on Friday, Kohli made a vehement submission that on account of non-availability of the 4G services, the students in the Union Territories were unable to access the educational courses being sent by institutions.
The noted lawyer drew the attention of the court that all colleges and schools on the directions of the universities and CBSE were providing study material and classes online but students of the two union territories could not access or even download the files due to lack of high-speed Internet.
Because of this, Kohli said, the students would lag behind compared to those from the rest of the country and urged for immediate restoration of 4G Internet.
Additional Solicitor General Vishal Sharma informed the court that this issue is under consideration before the Supreme Court in a PIL filed by the ‘Foundation for Media Professionals’ and a notice has been issued by the apex court.
However, after hearing the issue, the division bench that also comprised Justice Rahnesh Oswal, asked the home secretaries of both the union territories to submit a status report before the court.
The CBSE, the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangthan and other school boards and universities have began holding online classes for its students from earlier this month.
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