On 24.10.2019, after the aforesaid orders were placed on record and pleadings were complete, the matter was listed for final disposal on 05.11.2019. Taking into account the concerns expressed by the parties, we extensively heard the counsel for both sides, as well as all the Intervenors on 05.11.2019, 06.11.2019, 07.11.2019, 14.11.2019, 19.11.2019, 21.11.2019, 26.11.2019 and 27.11.2019, and considered all the submissions made and documents placed before us.
Ms. Vrinda Grover, Counsel for the Petitioner in W.P. (C) No. 1031 of 2019
- It was contended that the petitioner, being executive editor of one of the major newspapers, was not able to function post 05.08.2019, due to various restrictions imposed on the press.
- Print media came to a grinding halt due to nonavailability of internet services, which in her view, is absolutely essential for the modern press.
- Curtailment of the internet, is a restriction on the right to free speech, should be tested on the basis of reasonableness and proportionality.
- The procedure that is to be followed for restricting Internet services is provided under the Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency or Public Service) Rules, 2017 [hereinafter "Suspension Rules"], which were notified under the Telegraph Act. The Suspension Rules