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Pre-paid mobile ban: SC notice to Centre, J&K govt

November 16, 2009 13:00 IST

The Supreme Court on Monday issued notices to the Centre and the Jammu and Kashmir government on a petition challenging imposition of the ban on pre-paid mobile services in the border state.

A bench, headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, sought the responses of the Ministries of Home and Telecom and the state government within two weeks.

The petition, filed by Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party on November 5, had challenged the ban and sought an urgent hearing on the matter.

Advocate Bhim Singh, who is the Chairman of the party, had contended that the government's order to ban pre-paid cellphone services in the state from November 1 was "authoritarian and arbitrary".

"The ban order is unconstitutional, improper, authoritarian and arbitrary and violative of the Article 14, 19 and 21 among other provisions of the Constitution of India," according to the petition.

Accusing the government of not applying its mind on the ban issue, the petition contended as to why the same procedure could not be adopted for verification of the subscriber seeking a pre-paid plan as adopted in the case of the post-paid service.

The government has ordered that no fresh pre-paid mobile connections should be issued in Jammu and Kashmir and that existing pre-paid SIM cards should not be renewed in the state after November 1 due to reasons of security.

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