Free Unlimited Calls, Data Sought from Plea at Supreme Court During COVID-19 Lockdown

A Request has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking a direction to the Centre to ensure that Complimentary unlimited calling, data Utilization and DTH Centers are provided to subscribers to Facilitate”psychological stress” Through the lockdown till May 3 Because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition, it has sought a direction to the Health Ministry to take appropriate actions to deal with psychological stress mounting on people due to the lockdown or being kept in quarantine.

The request sought directions to the government and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to invoke applicable stipulations of arrangement of licences given to DTH service providers and ask them to provide free and unlimited viewing facility of the channels and contents during the lockdown period.

It stated they likewise be directed to exercise powers under appropriate provisions of law so that content of video streaming websites could be provided free of cost through lockdown.

The request, filed by advocate Manohar Pratap, has stated that social interactions by way of talking over phone, video calling and other modes of electronic entertainment such as watching TV channels on DTH platforms or contents on video streaming sites could be helpful in”lowering the emotional stress” due to confinement through the lockdown.

It asserted that the Centre and state governments have taken various steps to assist the citizens during lockdown by providing food and shelter and other means of survival but no steps have been taken to reply the psychological pressure which is increasing day by day about the taxpayers.

“Mental and psychological wellbeing are as important as physical health and not as has been done in this regard by the authorities during lockdown. The majority of the men who got stranded away from their family and friends are living in deep psychological anxiety and there’s been even two-three cases of suicides because of fear of isolation during treatment of coronavirus disorder,” the plea said.

The petitioner has further said that unlimited free audio and video communication means would enable the stranded people, that are away from their family, to contact them and it would help in coping with present situation.

It said that unlimited and free access to Internet and satellite TV stations would provide better and broad style of entertainment to those who are restricted in home or in home improvement facilities.

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