NEWS
13/08/2019 2:14 PM IST | Updated 13/08/2019 2:50 PM IST

When Will Kashmir Get Internet? SC Says Centre Should Get Time

The Supreme Court was hearing a plea asking for the restrictions to be lifted.

Danish Siddiqui / Reuters
Kashmiris attend a protest after Eid-al-Adha prayers at a mosque during restrictions after the scrapping of the special constitutional status for Kashmir by the government, in Srinagar, August 12, 2019. 

NEW DELHI — The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to pass any immediate directions to the Centre and the Jammu and Kashmir government on a plea seeking lifting of all restrictions imposed after the abrogation of Article 370.

The apex court said that it will wait for the return of normalcy and take up the matter after two weeks.

A three-judge bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra was hearing the petition filed by Congress activist Tehseen Poonawalla on the Centre’s decision to impose restrictions and “other regressive measures” in Jammu and Kashmir following the revocation of the provisions of Article 370.

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During the hearing, the bench also comprising Justices M R Shah and Ajay Rastogi, said the present situation in Jammu and Kashmir was “very sensitive” and some time should be given to the Centre for bringing back normalcy in the region.

The bench also said that it should be ensured that there is no loss of life there.

In his plea, Poonawalla said he was not expressing any opinion on Article 370 but seeking withdrawal of ‘curfew/ restrictions’ and other alleged regressive measures including blocking of phone lines, Internet and news channels in J&K.

He has also sought a direction from the top court for the release of leaders like former chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, who are under detention.

He further sought setting up of a judicial commission to inquire into ground realities there.

The activist said that the decisions that have been taken by the Centre violate fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 19 and 21 of the Constitution.

“The inhabitants of the state of J&K are suffering on account of unwarranted imposition of curfew and/ or restrictions under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, preventive arrests, snapping of phone lines, suspension of internet services, media gag,barred access to healthcare, educational institutions, banks, public offices, shops and establishments and all other basic amenities,” the plea said.

He also sought direction to the Centre for appointing a judicial commission to visit and ascertain the ground situation in the state and file a status report before the court.