Apex court asks government why ban on pre-paid mobiles in Kashmir


New Delhi : The Supreme Court Monday asked the central government to explain, in response to a lawsuit, why the ban on pre-paid mobile services in Jammu and Kashmir should not be revoked. The union home ministry imposed the ban over security concerns.

Support TwoCircles

An apex court bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice B.S. Chauhan Monday asked the central government to respond on the issue within two weeks.

National Panthers Party chief Bhim Singh filed the lawsuit on Nov 5, seeking restoration of pre-paid mobile services in Jammu and Kashmir.

Bhim Singh has demanded that the union home ministry’s Oct 30 order banning pre-paid mobile services in Jammu and Kashmir be scrapped.

“It would be in the interest of the rule of law and the preservation of the basic and fundamental rights of the citizens of India, residing in Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.

The ban order, he contended, “has been issued on imaginary assumptions that pre-paid mobile SIM cards are being issued to the terrorists without proper and adequate verification”.

He said that failure, if any, in making proper verification of users was an administrative lapse, for which the people of the state must not be penalised and inconvenienced.

He said that the government’s move has left jobless over 20,000 youths, engaged in small-time jobs of selling pre-paid mobile SIMs.

The Panthers Party chief also said that the ban has rendered over 3.8 million telephones dead, and over 25,000 special police officers and village defence committee members operating in far-flung areas of the state have been disconnected from their operational headquarters.

Singh alleged that the government move was aimed to benefit the cellular operators who would earn a tidy sum of Rs.1.95 billion by converting 750,000 pre-paid mobile telephone customers into post-paid ones.