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‘With what authority?’: Rajasthan HC questions govt on internet ban

The Rajasthan High Court on Friday questioned the state government on whether field officials can ban internet during competitive exams.

It sought a response from the government on the powers of the Divisional Commissioners to issue orders for internet suspension for examinations.

A division bench of Justice M.M. Srivastava and Justice Farzand Ali, while hearing the petitions challenging the net ban, asked the government on what authority had the Divisional Commissioner issued orders for suspending internet, as in the rules, this power is with the Home Secretary.

Advocate General M.S. Singhvi, appearing on behalf of the state government, sought time from the court for a reply and the court posted the matter for November 23.

Advocate Neeraj Yadav and others have challenged the orders of the Divisional Commissioners to close the net due to competitive examinations.

In their petitions, they said that under the Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services Public Emergency and Public Safety Rules 2017, internet ban can be done in view of emergency and public safety whereas examinations are a continuous process that are held throughout the year and hence, do not fall in both the categories.

Earlier, in the Anuradha Bhasin vs Union of India case, the Supreme Court has said that the internet cannot be suspended unnecessarily, said the petitioner’s advocate Yarth Gupta adding that the apex court agreed that suspending internet services is a violation of Article 19(1)(a) and (g) of the Constitution and is completely unconstitutional.

The state government drew flak as it suspended internet services four times in last one month in the wake of different exams being held here including REET, Patwari and RAS-pre exams. IANS

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