SC asks J&K govt to produce orders on communication blockadehttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/sc-asks-jk-govt-to-produce-orders-on-communication-blockade/

SC asks J&K govt to produce orders on communication blockade

Appearing for the Centre, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta informed the top court circumstances related to communication restrictions have changed in the state.

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The government Monday restored postpaid mobile services in the valley, 70 days after restrictions were imposed

The Supreme Court Wednesday directed the Jammu and Kashmir administration to place before it orders issued by authorities to impose communication restrictions in the state following amendments to Article 370 on August 5.

The direction comes a day after Anuradha Bhasin, executive editor of Kashmir Times newspaper, in a writ petition, sought a direction to J&K administration to produce the orders under which the “communications blockade” was put in place, alleging that the administration suppressed relevant orders, notifications, etc, under which the “communications shutdown” was “enforced”.

Appearing for the Centre, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta informed the top court circumstances related to communication restrictions have changed in the state. On Monday, the government restored postpaid mobile services in the valley, 70 days after restrictions were imposed. Internet services have not yet been restored.

The partial restoration of cellphone services is part of a series of announcements by the administration on easing of restrictions that were imposed on August 5, when J&K was stripped of its special status and the state divided into two union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

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Since August 16, the administration has been easing restrictions in a phased manner. Fixed line telephone services  resumed in the Valley on August 17 and by September 4, nearly 50,000 landlines were declared operational. In Jammu and Ladakh, mobile phones had been made functional earlier.

The Supreme Court, meanwhile, has been hearing a petition by Bhasin who said she was not able to publish her newspaper from Srinagar as communication was “crippled”has challenging the communication blockade in the state.