New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday heard petitions by advocate ML Sharma and Kashmir Times Editor Anuradha Bhasin over the Kashmir row.
Hearing the first petition by the advocate challenging abrogation of Article 370 in the apex court, Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said he couldn’t understand what the plea spoke about. “I read your petition for half an hour but could not understand what is this petition about.”
“What is this petition? This is simply not maintainable. What kind of petition is this?” Ranjan Gogoi asked ML Sharma.
Listening to the plea by Bhasin challenging restriction on working journalists in the Valley, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta maintained, “security agencies are taking daily stock of the situation. We know the ground reality.”
In response to this petition, the Centre told the top court that restrictions in Kashmir would be removed in few days’ time. “Day by day, the situation is improving in Jammu and Kashmir. Curbs are being lifted gradually,” NDTV quoted the government as telling the SC.
The top court didn’t grant any relief to the petitioners and adjourned the hearing.
A special bench, comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S A Bobde and S A Nazeer heard the petitions today.
The advocate had challenged the scrapping of provisions of Article 370 and splitting the Valley into two Union Territories, and the journalist had sought directions for restoring of all modes of communication, including mobile Internet and landline services, throughout the state to provide an enabling environment for the media to practise its profession.
Sharma had filed the petition on August 6, claiming, that the Presidential order on Article 370 was illegal since it was passed without the consent of the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly.
However, the other petition filed on August 10 by Bhasin, seeks a direction for the Centre and the Jammu and Kashmir administration to immediately relax all restrictions on freedom of movement of journalists and media personnel in Kashmir and some districts of Jammu.
Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, which provided a special status to Jammu and Kashmir was scrapped on August 5, 2019.