IASbhai Daily Editorial Hunt | 18th Aug 2020

“It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.” –Herman Melville

Dear Aspirants
IASbhai Editorial Hunt is an initiative to dilute major Editorials of leading Newspapers in India which are most relevant to UPSC preparation –‘THE HINDU, LIVEMINT , INDIAN EXPRESS’ and help millions of readers who find difficulty in answer writing and making notes everyday. Here we choose two editorials on daily basis and analyse them with respect to UPSC MAINS 2020.

EDITORIAL HUNT #115 :“Internet Restrictions and The Valley

Internet Restrictions and The Valley

Jahnavi Sindhu (Internet Restrictions and The Valley)

Jahnavi Sindhu is a Delhi-based advocate

      HEADLINES:

Judicial remedies for the J&K net restrictions

      CENTRAL THEME:

The Supreme Court must re-examine the government’s weak reasons to limit the Internet in the erstwhile State

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2: Fundamental Rights

      MAINS QUESTION:

Examine the reasons to limit the reach of Internet with respect to Judicial review in the valley . Substantiate -(GS 2)

      LEARNING: 

  • Importance of Internet during Pandemic
  • Supreme Court Verdict
  • Judicial Reviews

      INTRODUCTION: 

Supreme Court of India’s stern approach in the recent hearing on August 7, the Central government has agreed to restore Internet in two districts on a trial basis.

  • During pandemic, a large part of occupations, business- education, health care, and information, have all moved online.
  • This has meant that we have had to discuss ways to improve access to the Internet for all.
  • The Internet restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) have completed a whole year.
  • While this is a welcome step, the fundamental rights of the people of J&K .

The Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression of the United Nations -have pointed out that neither the slowing nor the shutting down of the Internet is justifiable even on national security grounds.

INTERNET IN PANDEMIC

  • SERVICES : Internet is important to have online classes, working from home, tele-consults with doctors or even video calls with family.
  • MANUFACTURING : What is more, important industries such as tourism, handicrafts and agriculture have faced devastating losses.
  • ECONOMIC IMPACT : The president of the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry has estimated the loss to the region’s economy this past year at ₹40,000 crore.
  • SEVERITY : Moreover, experts have found shutdowns counter-productive in reducing violence.

      BODY: 

RIGHT OF JUDICIAL REVIEW

THE POWER OF REVIEW

The English courts did not have the power to strike down legislation as invalid.

  • FACTORS : The decisions are not based on objective factors that can be presented to and assessed by a judicial body.
  • KNOWLEDGE : The decisions are based on the “subjective satisfaction” of officers who possess exclusive knowledge of the situation on the ground.
  • POWER : This notion of subjective satisfaction can be traced back to English public law where Parliament could grant the Executive the power to exercise subjective satisfaction in certain cases.

ARTICLE 32 AND ITS EVOLUTION

  • The framers of our Constitution consciously moved away from this legal tradition while entrenching judicial review as a fundamental right under Article 32.

In 1956, Justice Vivian Bose emphasised -“there would be no point in these fundamental rights, for the courts would then be powerless to interfere and determine whether those rights have been infringed”.

  • ADM JABALPUR CASE-Emergency were based on the subjective satisfaction of the Executive and were not amenable to judicial review.
  • K.S. PUTTASWAMY CASE–  The judicial remedies would be available to ask searching questions and expect answers when a citizen has been deprived of these, most precious rights”.

      IASbhai Windup: 

THE FOUR-STEP TEST

  • The Court in Anuradha Bhasin recognised the proportionality test as the framework for such assessment.

PROPORTIONALITY TEST

  • Under this, the government must provide a four-step justification.

It has to show that the restrictions are in pursuance of a legitimate aim (in this case, national security).
 

  • That they are suitable to achieving that aim.
  • That there exist no less restrictive alternatives that would limit the right to a lesser extent.
  • Finally, that the adverse impact of the restrictions are proportionate to their benefit.

Finally, on the impact of restrictions, the government asserted that people can download e-learning applications, e-books and use websites and messaging platforms on 2G Internet.

       SOURCES:   THE HINDU EDITORIAL | Internet Restrictions and The Valley

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