Article 370 Current Affairs - 2020

Supreme Court: Access to Internet-a fundamental right

On January 10, 2020, the Supreme Court of India said that Right of access to internet is a fundamental right. The Court had asked the administration of Jammu and Kashmir to review the curbs on internet in a week.

Lately the Indian Government had been using internet shut down as a tool to control protest in the country against the Citizenship Amendment Bill. It was predominant in the north eastern states.

Highlights

A three-member bench of the apex court heard on a batch of pleas against complete blockage of internet in Kashmir. Kashmir was shut out of internet for five months now, since abrogation of Article 370.

The bench pronounced that freedom of speech and expression and freedom to practice any business or trade over internet is constitutionally protected under Article 19 (1).

The judgement also read that Section 144 CrPC shall not be used to suppress freedom of speech and expression.

2016 UN Resolution

In 2016, the UNHRC (United Nations Human Rights Council) released a resolution that condemned disruption of internet access by government. Before passing the resolution UN quoted that there were 15 internet shut downs in 2015 and 20 in 2017. The UN referred to internet ban in Turkey after terrorist attacks, internet shut down in India after local protests and internet blockage in Algeria.

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UNSC meet on Kashmir cancelled

The United Nations Security Council meet was sought by China on December 17, 2019. The meeting was sought after India decided to end special status of Jammu and Kashmir by abrogating Article 370. However, the meeting was cancelled with the French supporting India. All over the world Pakistan is supported only by China, Turkey and Malaysia over the Kashmir issue.

Highlights

China insisted reviving India-Pakistan issue in the United Nations where the issue has been dormant since 1971. India believes that China is bringing up the issue ahead of India-china special representatives meet in Agra and India-US 2+2 defence talks that are to be held in December 2019.

In August 2019, the UNSC held a closed-door meeting to discuss India-Pakistan issues. However, no final statement was released at the end of the meeting.

United Nations Security Council

The UNSC is the most powerful organization of the United Nations whose responsibility is to maintain peace and security. India is not a permanent member of the UNSC. As a member of G4, India is seeking permanent representation. All the G4 countries are seeking permanent membership. It includes Brazil, Germany, India and Japan. Unlike G7, where the primary focus is economy, at G4 the common denominator is to get permanent membership seat at the security council.

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