The Supreme Court on Monday heard a bunch of pleas filed by senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad and several other people over the abrogation of Article 370 and the situation which has emerged in erst while state of Jammu and Kashmir due to this decision of Central government.
The petitions were heard by a SC bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi. Besides Azad's plea, the SC also heard a plea filed by CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury who has challenged the detention of his party colleague Mohammed Yousuf Tarigami by authorities in Kashmir. A plea filed by Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam party`s (MDMK) General Secretary Vaiko to release former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Farooq Abdullah from detention was also heard by the top court.
The top court also heard a petition filed by Kashmir Times editor Anuradha Bhasin challenging the media restrictions and communication blackout in Kashmir. The SC also heard a plea filed by child rights activist Enakshi Ganguly concerning juvenile inmates lodged in jails in Jammu and Kashmir.
SC allows Ghulam Nabi Azad to visit Srinagar, Baramulla, Anantnag, Jammu
The senior Congress leader had filed a plea seeking permission from the SC to visit Jammu and Kashmir and meet his relatives and well-wishers. In his petition, Azad had said that he was only interested in knowing the well-being of Kashmiris and will not indulge in any political activity during his visit to the region.
The SC accepted Azad's plea and allowed him to visit Srinagar, Anantnag, Baramulla and Jammu to carry out social activities for the benefit of people in the area.
Taking cognisance of Azad’s assurance of not getting into political activities during his visit, the apex court allowed him to visit Jammu and Kashmir and meet people. The SC, however, ordered Azad to not take part in any political activity during his stay in Kashmir.
Vaiko's plea seeking release and production of Farooq Abdullah in court
MDMK General Secretary and Tamil Nadu leader Vaiko had filed a plea seeking production of former Jammu and Kashmir CM Farooq Abdullah, who has reportedly been under house arrest in Srinagar since August 5 when Article 370 was abrogated by Centre in court. In his plea, Vaiko said that veteran leader has agreed to attend the function to mark 111th birth anniversary of Annadurai in Chennai on September 15 but he has been unable to get in touch with Farooq Abdullah because he has been under illegal detention since August 5.
During the hearing, Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi asked the government if Farooq Abdullah is under any kind of detention. To which, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who represented the government, said that he will get the instruction in this matter. SG Mehta also claimed that Vaiko has no locus standi to file a habeas corpus plea in this matter because he is not a family member of Farooq Abdullah.
The SC heard the arguments of both sides and then issued a notice to Centre and Jammu and Kashmir administration seeking response on Vaiko's plea. The SC said that it will next hear this matter on September 30.
SC allows CPM leader Yusuf Tarigami to return to Jammu and Kashmir
Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Mohammed Yousuf Tarigami was on Monday allowed by the SC to return to Jammu and Kashmir. The SC passed the order while hearing a plea filed by Tarigami seeking permission from the apex court to return to Jammu and Kashmir. The SC said in its order that Tarigami does not need any permission to return to J&K. Tarigami was brought to AIIMS on September 9 following the apex court order. Tarigami's lawyer claimed in plea that his client was kept in the J&K guesthouse in Delhi but not allowed to go outside.
SC hears plea challenging communication blockade in Kashmir
The SC heard the plea filed by the Kashmir Times Executive Editor Anuradha Bhasin, challenging the communication blockade imposed by the government in the region after the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5. Noted lawyer Vrinda Grover appeared on behalf of Bhasin and she claimed before the SC that the communication blockade in J&K is a "hindrance to the media activities". Grover urged the court to pass an order directing the government to restore all kinds of communication activities in the regin.
The government opposed Bhasin's claims and told the SC bench that the media professionals are getting landline and many other communication facilities to do their work. The govermment also said that there is no restriction in 88 per cent police stations in Kashmir division. The apex court asked the Centre and Jammu and Kashmir government to ensure normal life is restored in the region keeping in mind the national safety and security.
I will go to Jammu and Kashmir if needed, says Chief Justic Ranjan Gogoi
While hearing a petition on the alleged reports of detention of children in Kashmir, Chief Justic Ranjan Gogoi asked the lawyer to go to the high court regarding the petition, the latter replied saying it was difficult for them to approach the High Court.
To this, the CJI said, "If you make a statement that it's difficult to approach the high court, it's a very serious statement. Is anyone coming in the way of you going to the high court? Please tell why."
The lawyer said that the Jammu and Kashmir is in a situation to shutdown and this is why they are unable to approach the High Court. Th SC heard the arguments and then directed J&K High Court Chief Justice to submit a report on whether the high court is accessible for litigants or not. Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi noted that it's a serious matter if the people of J&K are not allowed to approach the high court. Gogoi also said that he will speak personally to the high court chief justice and will visit Kashmir to find out if the situation is really as grim as claimed by the petitioner.