In a hearing on the months-long internet blockade in Jammu and Kashmir, India’s Supreme Court on Friday declared access to the internet a fundamental right and the restrictions unconstitutional. 

Based on Article 19(1) of the Indian Constitution, guaranteeing the right to freedom of speech and expression, the top court said that a complete curb on the internet should be imposed only as an extraordinary measure. The judgment said the repeated orders in Kashmir to suspend the internet, including the one which started last January, amount to an abuse of power.

Experts believe the ruling by the apex court will

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