SFLC.in wrote to the Home Secretary, Government of Rajasthan as well the District Collectors of Udaipur, Dungarpur, Pratapgarh and Banswara asking them to publish orders regarding the suspension of Internet services in the said districts.
Internet services have suspended in these 4 districts since Saturday, 26th September 2020 following violent protests.
SFLC.in hasn’t been able to access any official order suspending the internet services in these districts following which it wrote to the concerned authorities. It has been held by the Supreme Court of India in Anuradha Bhasin V. Union of India(WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 1031 OF 2019) that publication of orders issued by the authorities directing suspension of telecom services is mandatory.
The Hon’ble Court has held that “‘It must be noted that although the Suspension Rules does not provide for publication or notification of the orders, a settled principle of law, and of natural justice, is that an order, particularly one that affects lives, liberty and property of people, must be made available. Any law which demands compliance of the people requires to be notified directly and reliably’“
We hope that concerned authorities provide us with the relevent orders on an urgent basis.
Further, We believe that suspension of internet services during a pandemic can cause widespread harm and can impact education, livelihood, access to healthcare and information among other things. We hope that these districts resume internet services on an urgent basis.