New Delhi: The Supreme Court will on Friday hear the petitions posing legal challenges to the Centre’s decision to scrap Article 370 of the Constitution, which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir and subsequent measures putting restrictions on the working of media in the region.
The petitions have been filed by advocate ML Sharma and Executive Editor, Kashmir Times, Anuradha Bhasin. While the advocate has challenged the scrapping of provisions of Article 370 and splitting the Valley into two Union Territories, the journalist has 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.
A special bench, comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S A Bobde and S A Nazeer will today hear the petitions.
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.
The direction was sought to enable media personnel to practise their profession and exercise their right to report in furtherance of their rights under Articles 14, 19 (1) (a) and 19 (1) (g) and 21 of the Constitution as well as the right to know of the residents of the Kashmir Valley, the petition said.
On August 10, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah-led National Conference (NC) also filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the Centre’s move to revoke Article 370. According to a report in NDTV, the party had claimed that the Centre’s move is “illegal”. The petition was filed by NC MP’s Akbar Lone and Hasnain Masoodi.
Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, which provided a special status to Jammu and Kashmir was scrapped on August 5, 2019.