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Access To Internet Services Has Assumed Great Importance On Account Of COVID Pandemic: Himachal Pradesh High Court

Sparsh Upadhyay
1 Jun 2021 4:05 PM GMT
Access To Internet Services Has Assumed Great Importance On Account Of COVID Pandemic: Himachal Pradesh High Court
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Underlining that access to Internet services has assumed great importance on account of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Himachal Pradesh High Court on Monday (May 31) observed that:"The need of the hour is to provide adequate bandwidth, network attached storage and routers etc. to facilitate the conducting of educational courses, conferences, court proceedings etc. on virtual platform."The Bench...

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Underlining that access to Internet services has assumed great importance on account of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Himachal Pradesh High Court on Monday (May 31) observed that:

"The need of the hour is to provide adequate bandwidth, network attached storage and routers etc. to facilitate the conducting of educational courses, conferences, court proceedings etc. on virtual platform."

The Bench of Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan & Justice Chander Bhushan Barowalia was hearing a petition filed highlighting the plight of the residents of the State, more particularly, the residents of the rural and backward areas of the State, in the matters regarding Internet services.

Observations of the Court

The Court noted that the Government of India had formulated a new telecom policy in the year 1994 aimed at giving the highest priority to the development of telecom services in the Country in conformity and in furtherance of the Government of India's Economic Policy.

Thereafter, the Court observed that various guidelines for streamlining the provisions of right of way to telecom service licensees and also to the infrastructure providers were laid down.

"These mobile guidelines were formulated, keeping in view the object of creating a robust telecommunication infrastructure with adequate bandwidth at affordable rates and in order to promote Development and Proliferation of Information Technology, Electronic Governance E-Commerce, convergence of Information, Communication and Entertainment sectors so as to improve the state of the economy, enhance the quality of life of the citizens and to ensure the development of urban and rural areas with equity throughout the Country."

Lastly, referring to the letter of the Ministry of Home Affairs, CIS Division, Government of India dated September 7, 2020, the Court regarding the implementation of the BharatNet project, the 4th respondent was directed to file a response regarding the follow-up action taken pursuant to the letter and roadmap prepared for the implementation of BharatNet program.

The matter has now been listed for further hearing on June 4, 2021.

In related news, the Punjab & Haryana High Court in April lauded the role of social media in reaching out to the citizens who are in urgent need of help.

The Bench of Justice Arvind Singh Sangwan, however, added that a micro percentage of media may not be that responsible in playing a positive role in nation-building and instead of restraining to promote hate speeches, coverage, it airs sensational news.

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