The Himachal Pradesh High Court sought response from the State and the Central Governments regarding the implementation of the Union Ministry’s proposal of Bharat Net Project. The Court said that the Internet has assumed great importance in view of the COVID-19 Pandemic and providing internet facilities to the rural areas is the need of the hour.

The Bench of Justices Chander Bhusan Barowalia and Tarlok Singh Chauhan while hearing a petition wherein the residents of the rural areas of Himachal Pradesh pointed out that they are unable to get access to internet facilities. In view of this the Court opined that,

”The importance of access to Internet services has assumed great importance on account of Covid-19 pandemic. The need of the hour is to provide adequate bandwidth, network attached storage and routers etc. to facilitate the conducting of educational courses, conferences, court proceedings etc. on virtual platform.”

The Court referred to the Telecom Policy framed by the Government in 1994, that seeks to deal with the telecom services on a priority basis and to ensure this facility to every corner of the Country. The Petitioner argued that a letter in relation to the Bharat Net Project was issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs dated September 7,2020. It was contended that these services will ensure efficient internet facilities with high speed network.

The Court ordered the respondents to file a response in relation to the Action Plan and a possible framework for the implementation of the Bharat Net Project. Further the Court stated that the matter will be herd on June 4,2021.

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