Updated: October 16, 2019 10:06:18 pm
The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Centre to produce orders concerning the shutdown and detentions in Jammu and Kashmir, reported Bar and Bench.
The three-Judge Bench of Justices NV Ramana with R Subhash Reddy and BR Gavai was hearing a petition filed by Kashmir Times Editor Anuradha Bhasin challenging the restrictions placed on media and communications in the Valley.
The bench asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta that why the orders concerning the imposition of restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir were not placed on record.
“Is it done purposefully?” the Court asked.
Mehta argued that the petition by Bhasin originally prayed only for the lifting of the curbs in the region. “The situation on the ground is changing gradually. The petitioner has now expanded the scope of the prayer to seek production of the orders also,” he argued.
Advocate Vrinda Grover, arguing for the Kashmir Times editor, objected to this submission to say that the petition seeks production of these orders as the first point of prayer so that the validity of the decisions can be examined. The court acknowledged and agreed with Grover’s submission on this.
Solicitor General Mehta, however, said, “We will place on record these orders but nobody can seek an appeal on executive orders concerning the national security, especially not the petitioners.”
The bench then said that if the Centre wished to not divulge reasons for not placing any order on record, an affidavit detailing the reasons is to be filed. The court will hear the matter next on October 25.
During the hearing, Mehta told the court that a rejoinder was filed by the Centre when the matter was taken up last time. Grover told the court that the government’s rejoinder still had not touched upon the orders imposing restrictions. This point was raised in the counter affidavit filed by Bhasin some days ago, she argued.
Restrictions were imposed on public movement and communications in Jammu and Kashmir on August 4, a day before the Centre revoked the state’s special status under Article 370. The administration said the restrictions were important to prevent law and order problems and curb terrorist activity.
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