After three months of mobile internet blackout in Manipur, the Manipur High Court has asked the Manipur government to consider devising a mechanism for providing internet services through mobile phones by whitelisting the mobile numbers on a case-to-case basis.
A bench of Justice Ahanthem Bimol Singh and Justice A Guneshwar Sharma on Friday called for providing internet services through mobile phones by whitelisting the mobile numbers on case-to-case basis and in a phase-wise manner.
Accordingly, the state authorities are directed to consider this aspect and to submit a report, the court said.
During the hearing, the state’s counsel submitted that the Manipur government had earlier issued necessary orders lifting the ban on providing internet through broadband services (ILL & FTTH) in a liberalised manner.
The counsel said this “was subject to fulfilment of certain safeguards/terms and conditions and as of now, many citizens have availed such internet services”.
Counsel for the petitioners submitted that since there has been no data leakage through the whitelisted mobile phones, the high court can pass appropriate orders directing the state to whitelist all mobile phones in a gradual manner. The counsel said authorities have conducted physical trials about revoking the mobile internet ban by whitelisting certain mobile numbers.
As per the report submitted by service providers, there is no data leakage to any other numbers which are not whitelisted, the counsel added.
An indefinite Mobile internet ban has been in force in Manipur since May 3 after violence broke out in the state.
The court will hear the matter again on August 31.