Kashmir Times petition in SC on media curbs; Notice issued to Centre to respond in 7 days

PL Uniyal. Dated: 8/29/2019 12:24:55 PM

NEW DELHI, Aug 28: The Supreme Court has issued notice to the Centre and Jammu and Kashmir administration on a plea seeking removal of restrictions imposed on journalists after Article 370 was scrapped.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi issued notice on the plea filed by Anuradha Bhasin, Executive Editor of Kashmir Times.
Serving the notices, the Supreme Court has given seven days to the Centre and Jammu and Kashmir government to reply on press freedom in the state.
In her plea, Anuradha Bhasin had sought direction for relaxing restrictions on the internet, landline and other communication channels.
Representing Anuradha Bhasin, advocate Vrinda Grover told the Supreme Court that freedom of the press was being restricted in the state as she cited the example of a doctor who was whisked away by the police.
Following this, the CJI issued a notice but did not pass any order in the case.
The Supreme Court had on August 16 said it will wait before passing any direction on the plea seeking removal of restrictions on the media in Jammu and Kashmir in the wake of abrogation of Article 370 after the Centre said curbs are being lifted gradually.
The Centre had told the SC that the situation is improving in Jammu and Kashmir and the curbs are being lifted gradually.
The Court today also issued notice in a separate plea filed by activist Tehseen Poonawalla, which makes similar prayers for the relaxation of restrictions imposed in the valley. Poonawalla's petition has been tagged with Bhasin's petition.
Registering his objection to the "present grim and lockdown situation ongoing in J&K", Poonawalla had moved the Court praying for the withdrawal of restrictions imposed following the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution, the release of detained leaders in Jammu and Kashmir and the appointment of a judicial commission to ascertain the ground reality in Jammu and Kashmir.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta today took objection to Poonawala's petition, stating that he is an activist who makes television appearances. However, the Court did not entertain the objection and proceeded to issue notice returnable in seven days.
The matter was taken up today by a Special Bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices SA Bobde and S Abdul Nazeer.



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