The Supreme Court on November 27, 2019 reserved its order in a batch of petitions concerning the situation in Kashmir following the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution.
The matters relate to restrictions imposed on the press and communications in Kashmir. The lead petitioner in the matter is Editor of the Kashmir Times, Anuradha Bhasin.
Similar pleas were tagged along with this petition and heard by a Bench of Justices NV Ramana, R Subhash Reddy, and BR Gavai. Other parties challenging the communications restrictions in Kashmir include political analyst Tehseen Poonawalla and Soyaib Qureshi.
Orders were reserved following rejoinder submissions made on behalf of the petitioners today by Senior Advocates Kapil Sibal and Advocate Vrinda Grover. In today's, November 27, 2019 hearing, Sibal re-asserted that the orders based on which restrictions have been imposed in Jammu and Kashmir must be produced before the Court.
In response, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta was prompted to clarify that there were no fresh orders passed under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. He submitted that the orders passed two months earlier have not been extended. Further, he reiterated that the restrictions continuing in Jammu and Kashmir were only during the night time. There are no restrictions during the day, he said. In response to Justice Ramana's query, if the said orders had expired and thereafter not extended, Mehta also answered in the affirmative.
Sibal, however, argued that if restrictions are continuing at night time, it follows that the orders were extended. He further submitted that the orders must be justified by intelligence inputs warranting their issuances. He argued that the orders cannot be justified only by affidavits and arguments. Sibal concluded his arguments by stating that the "past cannot be changed, but if we do not uphold the principles of democracy and national security, it will be a problem."
Senior Advocates Huzefa Ahmedi, Dushyant Dave, Meenakshi Arora, and Sanjay Hegde also appeared on the petitioners' side to argue against the ongoing communications restrictions earlier.
In yesterday's, November 26, 2019, hearing, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had concluded his submissions for the State, defending the course of action taken in view of the move to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution. Following his submissions, rejoinder arguments began for the petitioner side. Attorney General KK Venugopal had concluded his arguments for the State earlier, on November 21, 2019.
Tags : #SC #Article370 #Kashmir #Conflict #India