The Supreme Court on Monday allowed the Jammu and Kashmir government to continue curbing SMS messages in the state, on the boil for three months over the Amarnath shrine board land row.
A bench of Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan extended its August 5 order suspending a Jammu and Kashmir High Court ruling, which had lifted the state government's prohibitory order on SMS messages.
The bench extended the ban on circulation of SMS messages on a plea by the state government that the move was necessary to check unscrupulous elements from misusing them and spreading rumour and communal disharmony.
The state government had contended that the high court had failed to appreciate the drastic need to curb the circulation of SMS messages, which were being misused by antisocial and communal elements to spread rumours, to widen the communal divide and aggravate violence.
The state government said the high court had lifted the ban on circulation of SMSs at a special hearing held at the residence of one of the judges. The judge, it said, had passed the order without hearing the government.
The decision to allot land in the valley for pilgrims going to the Amarnath shrine led to massive protests in Kashmir. It was revoked a few weeks later in July, but that in turn led to protests in Jammu region. The unrest has snowballed since with both Kashmir and Jammu witnessing curfews and shutdowns.