The Supreme Court on Thursday told the Jammu and Kashmir administration that restrictions imposed in the national interest need to be reviewed periodically, PTI reported. The top court was hearing a series of petitions on media restrictions and communications shutdown in the state.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the government, said that the situation was being reviewed every day. “The restrictions are being reviewed daily,” the lawyer said. “In around 99% [of the] area, no restrictions are there.” But senior lawyer Vrinda Grover opposed Mehta and said internet restrictions were still imposed.
“This has trans-border implications, let us not have an ostrich approach,” Mehta said, according to Bar and Bench. “After a certain terrorist [referring to Burhan Wani] was killed in 2016, there was internet shutdown for three months, the petitioner didn’t come to the court then.” However, Grover pointed out that the Centre had claimed the numbers of cross-border terrorism figures had reduced.
The court, however, asked for a definitive timeline on when the restrictions would be revoked. “How many days will the restrictions continue? You have to give a clear reply,” Ramana said, according to Live Law. The bench comprised of Justices NV Ramana, R Subhash Reddy, and BR Gavai. The court will next hear the petitions on November 5.
In the previous hearing on October 16, the Supreme Court had asked the Centre to produce orders related to the shutdown and detentions in Jammu and Kashmir. The court had told it to file an affidavit detailing the reasons for not placing any order on record if it did not want to make it public.
The government had imposed restrictions on public movement and communications in Jammu and Kashmir on August 4, a day before it revoked the state’s special constitutional status. The administration said the curbs were important to prevent law and order problems and restrict terrorist activity. Restrictions were gradually lifted from Jammu and Ladakh regions within a few weeks, but daily activity remains affected in parts of Kashmir.
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