Answer Every Question On Restrictions In Kashmir: Supreme Court Tells J&K Administration

The Solicitor General said authorities have applied their minds in imposing or lifting curbs in Jammu and Kashmir.


New Delhi, November 21:

The Supreme Court on Thursday told the Jammu and Kashmir administration that it will have to respond to each and every question raised on the restrictions imposed in the erstwhile state after the abrogation of Article 370.

A bench headed by Justice NV Ramana told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the administration, that petitioners challenging the restrictions have argued in detail and he will have to answer all questions.

“Mr. Mehta you have to answer each and every question raised by the petitioners who have argued in detail. Your counter-affidavit does not help us to come to any conclusion. Don’t give the impression that you are not giving enough attention to the case,” said the bench, comprising Justices R Subhash Reddy and BR Gavai.

Mehta said most of the averments made by the petitioners on restrictions are “incorrect” and he will respond to each and every aspect when he argues in court.

Justifying certain restrictions imposed in the Valley, he said, “authorities have applied their minds in imposing or lifting curbs in Jammu and Kashmir.”

Giving details of the situation in the Valley, the solicitor general told the apex court that schools have reopened and 917 schools were never shut after the abrogation of Article 370.

He also said, “Petitions, including one by Ghulam Nabi Azad, alleging restrictions have outlived their utility and are irrelevant.”

At the outset, the top court clarified that except for one petition it does not have any detention matters pending before it.

“We are not hearing any detention matters with regard to Jammu and Kashmir. We are currently hearing two petitions filed by Anuradha Bhasin and Ghulam Nabi Azad which are on restrictions in freedom of movement, press, etc,” it said, adding that only one habeas corpus petition is pending.

Kashmir Times Editor Anuradha Bhasin had filed a petition against the communication blockade in Jammu and Kashmir.

It said only one habeas corpus (against the detention of a businessman) is pending because the petitioner had simultaneously moved before the JK High Court and the Supreme Court.

“Now they have withdrawn from the high court and hence the petition is pending here,” the bench said.

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