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Advocate Vrinda Grover says that the Court's ruling on Section 144 and the conditions necessary for the imposition of the provision is consequential in the backdrop of nationwide anti-CAA protests.
Speaking to Bar and Bench after the Supreme Court pronounced its judgment in the matter concerning the internet shutdown and other restrictions in Kashmir, Advocate Vrinda Grover, who represented the lead petitioner in the case, said that the ruling is an "advancement" as regards Article 19 freedoms.
On Friday, the Supreme Court delivered its judgment in a batch of petitions challenging the restrictions on internet and telecom services in Kashmir in the aftermath of the abrogation of Article 370.
While the Court did not pass any orders on lifting of these curbs, it held that internet freedom in relation to Freedom of Expression under Article 19(1)(a) enjoys constitutional protection. Observing that certain trades are completely dependent on the internet, the Court held that the freedom of trade and commerce through the internet is also constitutionally protected under Article 19(1)(g).
On the issue of Section 144 CrPC orders, the Court in no uncertain terms said that these orders can be passed only when there is a likelihood of violence or danger or if conditions of emergency are present. Continuous use of power by the State to pass orders under this Section is abuse of power, the Court observed.
This judgment was delivered by a Bench of Justices NV Ramana, R Subhash Reddy, and BR Gavai.