Are people in J&K citizens or subjects?


The article talks about the internet being a basic right and highlights the situation of Kashmir lockdown and the blockade by the Government to basic goods and amenities. The article also highlights the slow movement of the Judiciary in curbing the autocracy of the Executive. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the nationwide lockdown, there were indispensable pieces of evidence were placed in the court in support of the importance of an internet facility and without which people of J&K were placed at a significant disadvantage compared to the rest of the country. In response, the court directed a three-member special committee headed by Union Secretary to measure the situation. Though after months have passed since the last judgement there has been no committee formed and 4G internet remains banned. Lastly June the petitioner had moved again in court, this time holding the government in contempt. The government in reply said that it had constituted the committee and its decision can be delivered to the court in a “sealed envelop”. The petitioner calls for an open publication of its orders restricting the Internet orders. In the next hearing, the government is expected to explain itself through an affidavit. The court now must ask itself if people of J&K subjects to be ruled over or are citizens who possess rights against the State.

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