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Plea in SC seeks restoration of Internet, phones at hospitals across Jammu and Kashmir

A petition filed in the Supreme Court has sought the restoration of Internet services and phone lines in hospitals across Jammu and Kashmir, which has been under a prolonged lockdown following the reading down of Article 370.

The petition filed by Dr. Sameer Kaul and one Salim Jahangeer Kirmani has asked the Centre to not block communication services like the Internet and landlines in hospitals given how crucial they are to providing healthcare. Mobile phone services have also been blocked as part of the clampdown .

The petitioners said Internet was a major medium for ordering essential medicines and that snapping it had meant no access to medical care.

“In the age of digital India, when most of the services including medical services are fully dependent on availability of Internet facilities, snapping of Internet services across hospitals and medical establishments in Kashmir amounts to serious infringement of fundamental right to health and medical care, which has been recognized and included as a part of right to life enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution of India,” the petitioners stated in their plea.

“In today’s age of e-commerce, most of the medicines are being procured by hospitals and other medical establishments using e-commerce platforms and lack of access to Internet is hindering the procurement of lifesaving drugs and baby foods in glaring violation of the rights of women and children under the Constitutional provisions and under the international treaties to which India is a signatory,” the petitioners said.

The petitioners also said important machines like MRI and CT scanners require constant updates from servers requiring Internet connections. Besides, most of the patient information repositories, insurance and records are maintained on online servers.

“At the time of an Internet shutdown, it becomes impossible to work on these servers,” the petitioners contended.

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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 1:28:09 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/plea-in-sc-seeks-restoration-of-internet-phones-at-hospitals/article29402548.ece

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