Supreme Court asks petitioners to give govt time to lift restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir

Supreme Court on Article 370:  

The Supreme Court has come down heavily on advocate ML Sharma who had filed a petition against the repeal of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir.

The Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi spent 30 minutes reading the petition, but could not understand it. Gogoi said that Sharma’s challenge isn’t maintainable and has “no meaning”.

Five other petitions  challenging the Centre’s move were also defective and directed the lawyers to cure the defects.

ML Sharma had filed the petition on August 6, a day after the Centre had abrogated the Jammu and Kashmir’s special status. The advocate in his plea has claimed that the Presidential order on Article 370 was illegal since it was passed without the consent of the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly.

Supreme Court On Free Press:

On a plea filed by Kashmir Times Executive Editor Anuradha Bhasin against the communication blackout in Kashmir, the court said it would give more time to the Centre to lift the restrictions after the government said the situation is improving “day by day”.

Anuradha Bhasin filed a separate petition on August 10,  said she is seeking 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 petition said that all connectivity was shutdown leaving Kashmir and some districts in Jammu completely isolated and cut-off from all possible modes of communication and information.

On Tuesday, the top court refused to interfere with the restrictions, including the communication clampdown in Jammu and Kashmir, saying that reasonable time should be given for bringing normalcy in the sensitive situation and posted the matter for hearing after two weeks.

Kashmiri Politicians:

The National Conference, the main political party of Jammu and Kashmir, has also filed a petition posing legal challenges in the apex court to the changes made in the constitutional status of J&K, contending that these have taken away rights of its citizens without their mandate.

Arguing that the legislation approved by Parliament and the orders issued by the President subsequently were “unconstitutional”, the petition prayed for these to be declared as “void and inoperative”.

The petition has been filed by Mohammad AKbar Lone and Justice (rtd) Hasnain Masoodi, both Lok Sabha members belonging to the NC.

Lone is a former speaker of the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly and Masoodi a retired judge of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, who ruled in 2015 that Article 370 was a permanent feature of the Constitution.

United Nations Security Council will discuss Kashmir: 

The UN Security Council, meanwhile, is scheduled to hold a rare meeting on Kashmir behind closed doors. Poland, which currently holds the Security Council’s rotating presidency, has listed the matter for discussion at 10:00 am (7:30 pm IST).

It is extremely rare for the Security Council to discuss Kashmir. The last time there was a full Security Council meeting on the Himalayan region was in 1965.

Restoring Normalcy: 

The Home Ministry officials in Delhi said that the call on relaxations curbs imposed in the Valley and the decision to resume communication lines will be taken by the district administration in respective districts in a phased manner.

The Jammu and Kashmir administration will ask schools and colleges to open from Monday.

News agency PTI has reported that government secretariat and other offices will start functioning from Friday while easing of public curbs would depend on day’s development after the ‘namaaz’, a Raj Bhawan spokesperson said on Thursday.

Source : Various