Jammu And Kashmir: SC Orders Review Of Restrictive Orders Within A Week
By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 10, Jan 2020, 11:39 am IST | UPDATED: 18, Jan 2020, 11:33 am IST
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday directed government to review all restrictive orders in Jammu and Kashmir, including all orders of suspension of internet, within a span of seven days and put them in public domain.The apex court was delivering verdict on a batch of petitions on situation in Jammu & Kashmir after abrogation of Article 370.
“Kashmir has seen a lot of violence. We will try our best to balance the human rights and freedoms with the issue of security,” the SC said while delivering the verdict.
The court recognised freedom of internet access as a fundamental right. “It is no doubt that freedom of speech is an essential tool in a democratic setup. Freedom of internet access is a fundamental right under Article 19(1)(a) of free speech,” it said.
The court also slammed the government over use of section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and said that the prohibitory orders under it cannot be used as tool to suppress difference of opinion.
The Supreme Court was delivering its judgement on the clutch of petitions, including the one by senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, challenging the Centre's decision to impose restrictions on the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir after the August 5 revocation of provisions of Article 370, giving special status to the state.
A bench, headed by Justice N.V. Ramana and comprising Justices R. Subhash Reddy and B.R. Gavai, had reserved judgement on November 27 last year.
Besides Azad, the court had heard the petitions filed by Anuradha Bhasin, Executive Editor of Kashmir Times, and few interveners, who challenged the imposition of restrictions on the valley.
The Supreme Court had said that "we are more concerned about the future", as it reserved its verdict. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta consistently maintained that during the imposition of the restriction in the Jammu and Kashmir region, neither a single life was lost nor a single bullet was fired.