The Supreme Court on Monday extended its stay on the Jammu and Kashmir High Court's decision to lift a state-wide ban on SMS services, which were allegedly being used to spread rumours during protests over the Amarnath land transfer row.
A bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan extended the stay till further orders, allowing the plea of the state government that the curbs imposed on SMS services were necessary to prevent unscrupulous elements from misusing them.
Earlier on August 5, the Jammu and Kashmir government had approached the apex court seeking a stay of the High Court order lifting the prohibitory order on SMS messages.
In its petition, the state government had contended that the division bench of the High Court on August 4 failed to appreciate that it had become absolutely necessary and essential to curb and curtail violence, which was also perpetuated through circulation of rumours on SMS.
The division bench of the High Court, which on August 4 heard the issue at the residence of one of the judges, had allowed the petition filed by the Bar Association of Jammu that the restrictions imposed on SMS services and not honouring the curfew passes issued to media was a violation of the fundamental rights of citizens.
The Jammu and Kashmir government contended that the High Court should not have passed the ex-parte interim order and a notice should have been issued to it for being heard.
The state government had imposed a ban on the SMS services on August 3, claiming that it was being used to whip up communal tension through rumours.