The Supreme Court on Friday refused urgent hearing on a plea by two Manipur residents against the repeated internet shutdowns in the state rocked by ethnic violence. A vacation bench of justices Aniruddha Bose and Rajesh Bindal said the high court is already seized of a similar issue.
"The HC is hearing the matter. What's the need to duplicate proceedings? Mention before the regular bench," it said. Advocate Shadan Farasat mentioned the matter before the bench seeking urgent hearing
The top court was hearing a plea filed by Chongtham Victor Singh and Mayengbam James. The plea said the shutdown was "grossly disproportionate" in its interference with the constitutional right to freedom of speech and expression, and the right to carry on any trade or business using the constitutionally protected medium of the internet.
The Manipur government on Tuesday extended the ban on internet services till June 10. The suspension of mobile data services, including broadband, has been extended till 3 pm of June 10, an order issued by Commissioner (Home) H Gyan Prakash said. The ban was imposed on May 3.
Violence broke out in the northeastern state on May 3 when people from the Meitei community and the Kuki tribe clashed with each other over the Meiteis’ demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.