While terming the 'arbitrary practise' of internet shutdown a definite practise of the State of Rajasthan whenever there is a competitive state level examination, a lawyer has moved the Supreme Court against the suspension of Internet services in Jaipur and several other districts to conduct the Rajasthan Administrative Services (Prelims) Examination conducted by the Rajasthan Public Service Commission.
Calling the suspension arbitrary and illegal, Advocate Vishal Tiwari has filed a PIL challenging the Order dated 26th October 2021 from the Office of Divisional Commissioner, Jaipur Division to conduct the Prelims Examination conducted on 27.10.2021.
The petitioner has therefore sought directions to the State of Rajasthan and other Respondents not to Obstruct the Judicial Services, Virtual Court Hearings/ E- Filings of cases by suspending the Internet services in future.
The petition has stated that in lieu of this examination, the impugned order has been passed stating that the internet will be shut down from 9 am to 1 pm to minimise the chances of cheating or copying in the scheduled examination. The internet was suspended from 8 am and was suspended till 1:20 pm in various districts such as Bharatpur, Dholpur, Karauli and Sawai Madhopur districts.
The petitioner has argued that the imposition of the internet shut down to prevent cheating and malpractice during the examination shows the incompetence of the Rajasthan State Government and Rajasthan Public Service Commission.
"The order shows the apprehension of cheating and malpractice and based on such vague and arbitrary apprehension, the fundamental rights of the greater public is at stake primarily violating Article 19(1) (a), 19(1) (g) and Article 21 of the Indian Constitution." the plea said.
According to the petitioner, such imposition of internet shut down is manifestly against the Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency or Public Safety Rules), 2017 and such order imposing shut down goes against the dictum laid down by the Supreme Court of India in the case of Anuradha Bhasin v. Union of India.
The petitioner has stated that the imposition of internet shutdown through such arbitrary fashion pertaining to a trivial apprehension has deprived the citizens of their right to freedom of speech and expression under Article 19 (1) (a) and the right to practise their profession and to carry on their occupation, business and trade as guaranteed under Article 19 (1) (g) of the Constitution of India.
Citing news and reports showing that at various examination centres particularly in Bikaner male security guards were cutting the sleeves of a female candidate in the entrance of the examination centre, the petitioner has argued that incompetence of the Respondents has been a source of humiliation for the female candidates.
The petitioner has therefore sought directions to respondents to not adopt the undignified methods towards the female candidates and other candidates during conducting any examination in their respective States.