‘Some people will suffer’: SC responds to Kapil Sibal on Kashmir restrictions
Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad had moved the top court in September seeking permission to visit Jammu and Kashmir to enquire about the wellbeing of his family members and natives of Kashmir valleyUpdated: Nov 07, 2019 13:56 IST
Some people are bound to suffer when restrictions are placed to keep peace and curfew has been imposed, the Supreme Court observed on Thursday, responding to Congress leader Kapil Sibal arguing against the communication lockdown ordered in Jammu and Kashmir by the government after scrapping Article 370 in August this year.
“There cannot be any doubt that in a situation like this, there will be difficulties for many… There are situations when people living in areas under curfew suffer. These problems will be there. Some people will suffer,” said Justice R Subhash Reddy, one of the three judge bench headed by Justice NV Ramana that is hearing petitions against restrictions in Kashmir valley.
The judge’s comment came on arguments by senior lawyer Kapil Sibal, who is representing his party colleague Ghulam Nabi Azad, who questioned restrictions ordered by the government in the valley and insisted that these were subject to judicial review.
Sibal insisted that the bar on allowing leaders to travel to Jammu and Kashmir should have a relation to some material about threat to life. The right to freely travel would include the right to freely enter and exit Kashmir, he said, questioning the provisions under which the state pulled the plug on landlines and mobile phones. The Congress leader stressed that the large-scale restrictions under Section 144 of the criminal procedure code were “constitutionally impermissible”.
Kapil Sibal has argued that everyone supported the government on the issue of terrorism but the issue is, can the lives of seven million citizens be paralysed and their fundamental rights, instead of being restricted, be abrogated altogether?”
Cross-border terrorism has been going on since 1990s and the difficulty in finding the miscreants on the part of the state does not mean that the authorities will abrogate fundamental rights of all the citizens, Sibal said.
Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad had moved the top court in September seeking permission to visit Jammu and Kashmir to enquire about the wellbeing of his family members and natives of Kashmir valley. Azad had said that he had thrice tried to visit the state on August 8, 20 and 24, but was sent back from the airport itself.