Will like to give govt more time to restore normalcy, says Supreme Court
The Supreme Court on Friday refused to interfere with restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir, saying it would like to give the government some more time to restore normalcy in the region.
Adjourning the hearing on a petition filed by a journalist Anuradha Bhasin, who sought relaxation on mobile, landline, Internet services and movement of journalists in J&K, Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said, “We would like to give it a little time. I have read in papers that the landlines will be restored by evening.”
This order came after Attorney General of India KK Venugopal told the Supreme Court that the situation in the region will improve further over the next few days and the litigants should not jump the gun to knock on the top court’s doors with petitions. “Day after day restrictions are being lifted in Kashmir. In next few days situation will be settled and litigants should not jump the gun in filing petition in the Supreme Court,” he said.
Bhasin, the executive editor of Kashmir Times, filed a petition in the top court last week challenging the restrictions in the region.
Advocate Vrinda Grover argued that “there is curtailment of movement and information blackout that has taken place in Jammu and Kashmir. Press card should be respected; media curbs must be lifted as media is the fourth pillar of democracy.”
This petition will now be listed in the court for hearing along with six others that have been filed challenging government clampdown in Kashmir and legality of revoking Article 370.
On Tuesday, another bench of the Supreme Court refused to interfere with government actions after Venugopal told the court that the “situation is improving stage by stage”.
Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta objected to the court hearing Bhasin’s plea saying, “Instead of SC examining the matter, security agencies should be trusted and court should let them handle the situation....”
The court also took exception to a plea by advocate ML Sharma, saying it was badly drafted. “What kind of a petition is this ? What is the prayer or pleadings? I tried to read it for 30 minutes but could not make anything of it. In a matter of this magnitude you are filing such a petition?” Gogoi said. The court, however, permitted Sharma to amend the petition.