In the instant case of Aribam Dhananjoy Sharma v. State of Manipur Since the outbreak of unrest following the High Court’s order including the Meitei Community on the Scheduled Tribes List, the State of Manipur has been subject to an internet ban. In some locations under its control, the State is required by the court to offer the public a limited amount of internet connectivity. To figure out how to restrict social media sites and how many mobile phones and broadband connections the State Government has whitelisted, an expert group has been formed. The committee members have offered their perspectives and suggestions for delivering constrained internet service while preserving the safety of the federal government and defending the lives and property of its users. To limit leakage, they advise restricting internet access to cell phones that have been specifically recognised or whitelisted. Other security measures include offering broadband internet access, prohibiting Wi-Fi hotspots on routers and systems, MAC binding at the system or router level, obstructing social media websites and VPNs locally, removing installed VPN software, and requiring physical monitoring by the relevant authority.
Analysis of Court order
The Manipur High Court’s Division Bench, composed of Justices Ahanthem Bimol Singh and A. Guneshwar Sharma, considered the Expert Committee’s recommendations and ordered the State Government to lift the ban on offering Internet service via Internet Lease Line throughout the entire State after confirming that all parties involved had complied with the safeguards provided by the Expert Committee.
The State Government’s entire ban on internet access has resulted in the Court issuing directives to lessen the suffering that the public is experiencing. The Home Department is required to abolish the ILL prohibition across the state after confirming that all parties have cooperated with the Expert Committee’s safety precautions. If stakeholders have complied with the Committee’s safeguards, the Home Department may withdraw the FTTH prohibition on an individual basis. Additionally, the State Government has been instructed to carry out a physical test to see if it is possible to connect whitelisted mobile phones to the internet without endangering public safety, citizen safety, or property. On the day of the next hearing, the Court is asked for a thorough report. A hearing will be held on July 25, 2023, to discuss the issue.
CASE NAME – Aribam Dhananjoy Sharma v. State of Manipur, PIL NO. 25 of 2023