New Delhi : The Supreme Court on Wednesday decided to examine the legal challenge against the Centre’s decision to abrogate Article 370, which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, and referred the matter to a five-judge Constitution bench. The apex court issued notices to the Centre and Jammu and Kashmir administration on a batch of pleas challenging the Presidential order by which Article 370 was abrogated.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi was not in agreement with the Centre that there was no need for issuance of notice in the matter as Attorney General K K Venugopal and Solicitor General were marking their presence in the court.
“We will refer the matter to a five-judge Constitution bench”, the bench also comprising justices S A Bobde and S A Nazeer said while not accepting the arguments that the issuance of notice will have a “cross-border repercussion”. The Attorney General said whatever is being said by this court is sent before the United Nations. As the counsel appearing for both sides were involved in arguments and counter-arguments, the bench said, “We know what to do, we have passed the order, we are not going to change”.
Two important outcomes so far:
Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi allows Mohammad Aleem Syed, one of the petitioners in the case, to travel to Anantnag to meet his parents. Court has directed the Jammu and Kashmir Government to provide police protection to him.
Supreme Court allows CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury to visit J&K and meet his party leader and former MLA, Yousuf Tarigami. Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said “We will permit you to go, you are the general secretary of a party. Don’t go for anything else”
Any report after the visit can only be on Mr Tarigami. He will report to the court after he returns to Delhi. The administration on the ground has to facilitate his visit.
CJI Ranjan Gogoi observes that if any citizen wants to travel to any part of the country, he should be allowed to do so.
SC notice to Centre, J&K on restrictions on journalists:
SC notice to Centre, J&K on restrictions on journalists: The Supreme Court on Wednesday sought responses from the Centre and Jammu and Kashmir administration on a plea seeking removal of restrictions imposed on journalists after Article 370 was scrapped.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi issued notice on the plea filed by Anuradha Bhasin, Executive Editor of Kashmir Times. The bench, also comprising Justices S A Bobde and S A Nazeer, asked the Centre and Jammu and Kashmir administration to file their responses on Bhasin’s plea within seven days.
In the plea, Bhasin has sought directions for restoration of all modes of communication, including mobile Internet and landline services, throughout the state in order to provide an enabling environment for media to practise its profession. –