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J&K HIGHLIGHTS: SC order a rebuff to ‘unconstitutional, arrogant’ stance of govt, says Chidambaram

Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Restrictions SC Judgment HIGHLIGHTS: Stating that the indefinite suspension of the internet in J&K was in violation of Telecom Rules, the Supreme Court directed the administration to restore services in hospitals and educational institutions.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: January 10, 2020 7:49:12 pm
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The Supreme Court on Friday directed the Jammu and Kashmir administration to review and place in the public domain all restrictions imposed following the abrogation of Article 370 in August last year. Stating that the indefinite suspension of the internet in J&K was in violation of Telecom Rules, the Supreme Court directed the administration to restore services in hospitals and educational institutions.

A bench of Justices N V Ramana, R Subhash Reddy and B R Gavai was hearing a batch of petitions, including those by Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad and Kashmir Times Executive Editor Anuradha Bhasin, challenging the restrictions imposed in the region. The petitioners said that the restrictions had thrown life out of gear in the region and affected all sections of people, including farmers and daily wagers. They also questioned the curbs on internet and mobile communication and said this had a crippling effect on the lives of people.

However, the Centre had justified the restrictions citing national security and said that these were temporary measures in view of the prevailing situation in the region which was facing the brunt of cross-border terror. The Centre had argued that not a single person was killed after the August 5 decision due to the steps taken by the government. The government claimed that for many years, terrorists had been entering from across the border and civilians were being held captive by local militants and separatist organisations.

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Supreme Court today directed the J&K admin to review its curbs in the UT within 7 days. Get latest updates here. Read in Bangla, Tamil and Malayalam here.

Highlights

    16:46 (IST)10 Jan 2020
    Kashmiris welcome 'happy news'

    Welcomed by people in the Kashmir Valley who have been without internet for the last five months as "happy news" at last, the apex court verdict also said Section 144 of the CrPC (prohibitory orders) cannot be used indefinitely to suppress freedom of speech and expression and difference of opinion. (PTI) 

    15:31 (IST)10 Jan 2020
    Temporary shutdown of the Internet cannot be “arbitrary”: Supreme Court

    The court also said that even a temporary shutdown of the Internet cannot be “arbitrary”, and will be subject to judicial review. The court laid out that like any curbs on free speech, restricting Internet access must also be proportional — as laid out under Article 19 (2) of the Constitution. READ MORE

    15:22 (IST)10 Jan 2020
    Explained: Internet shutdown, Section 144 in Kashmir: How to read the SC’s order

    After five months of Internet shutdown in Kashmir, the Supreme Court on Friday (January 10) ruled that the right to access the Internet is a fundamental right protected under the Constitution.

    This is the first time that the Supreme Court has read the right to access the Internet as part of Article 19 (1) (a) of the Constitution — the right to freedom of speech and expression, and Article 19 (1) (g) — the right to practise any profession, trade or occupation. READ MORE

    15:04 (IST)10 Jan 2020
    SC judgement belies false claims of normalcy that govt has been peddling: CPI(M)

    The CPI (M) on Friday said the Supreme Court's judgement on the restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir belie the false claims of normalcy that the Central Government has been peddling to the country and the world.

    The apex court on Friday said access to the internet is a fundamental right under Article 19 of the Constitution and asked the Jammu and Kashmir administration to review within a week all orders imposing curbs in the Union Territory. "The Supreme Court has made significant comments on the curbs on civil liberties in Jammu and Kashmir which belie the false claims of normalcy that the Central Government has been peddling to the country and the world," the party said in a statement.

    It further said the government tried to reinforce the official claims of normalcy by taking a group of foreign envoys on a "farcical" restricted tour to J-K where they were allowed to see and hear only what the government wanted them to, which is why none of them could meet the three former Chief Ministers still in jail. (PTI)

    14:56 (IST)10 Jan 2020
    SC on Kashmir restrictions LIVE: Order is a rebuff to 'unconstitutional, arrogant' stance of govt, says Chidambaram

    Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Friday said the Supreme Court order on Jammu and Kashmir is a rebuff to the "unconstitutional and arrogant" stance of the Central government and the J&K administration on restrictions imposed there, and asked former state Governor Satpal Malik to own responsibility and resign as Goa Governor. "SC order is a rebuff to the unconstitutional and arrogant stance of the central government and the J&K administration on the restrictions imposed in J&K," Chidambaram said on Twitter. Chidambaram demanded that the entire team in J&K that designed and executed "the plan" be changed and a new set of administrators who respect the Constitution be appointed.

    13:49 (IST)10 Jan 2020
    SC verdict on Kashmir restrictions LIVE: 'Internet-dependent business will get a fillip'

    Another businessman associated with the tourism sector in the Valley is hoping the internet-dependent business will get a fillip. “This will give a boost to the sector which is highly dependent on the internet. Everything in the sector depends wholly on internet services, from ticketing inquiries to reservations. Tourists also were wary of the suspension of the services and showed little interest in visiting the Valley. We are hopeful that this will give a fillip to tourism,” he said.

    13:09 (IST)10 Jan 2020
    SC verdict on Kashmir restrictions LIVE: Order on internet access happy news, say people in Valley

    Welcoming the court's order, Ishtiyaq Ahmad, a businessman in Lal Chowk area of the city, told PTI, “It is a piece of very happy news for us, a huge relief, as the internet has been suspended for over five months now. We really hope that the services will be resumed as soon as possible now." He said trade and business has been badly affected since August 5 when authorities cut all internet services in the Valley. “Every sector has been badly affected. This has been the worst phase for business in the valley. The internet is a basic tool on which everyone, especially people associated with business, depend. We have struggled a lot without internet services,” Ahmad said.

    12:47 (IST)10 Jan 2020
    SC verdict on Kashmir restrictions LIVE: No more 'sealed envelopes' to hide the truth, says Surjewala

    "The Supreme Court recorded displeasure at the Modi government's refusal to show its orders and reminded them that internet ban is an extraordinary measure. Modi-Shah now have a week to review internet restrictions and place the reasons before the public. No more 'sealed envelopes' to hide the truth in," Surjewala said in another tweet.

    12:45 (IST)10 Jan 2020
    SC verdict on Kashmir restrictions LIVE: Apex court order a big jolt to Modi govt, says Congress

    Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala tweeted, "Supreme Court delivers first big jolt of 2020 to illegal activities of Modi government by stating the importance of the internet as a fundamental right. Double shock for Modi-Shah that dissent cannot be oppressed by imposing section 144. Modiji reminded that nation bows before Constitution and not him!" 

    12:31 (IST)10 Jan 2020
    SC verdict on Kashmir restrictions LIVE: Centre misled country, says Ghulam Nabi Azad

    Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad added, "The Government of India misled the entire country. This time, the Supreme Court was forthright, they did not come under any pressure."

    12:28 (IST)10 Jan 2020
    SC verdict on Kashmir restrictions LIVE: SC order reminder to 'tyrant duo', says Congress

    "The Supreme Court rules that tactics like indefinite internet shutdowns and indiscriminate use of Section 144 to silence dissent are unacceptable in a democracy. We hope this serves as a reminder to the tyrant duo that law and constitution is above their divisive policies," Congress said on Twitter.

    12:25 (IST)10 Jan 2020
    SC verdict on Kashmir restrictions LIVE: PM reminded that nation bows before Constitution, not him, says Congress

    The Supreme Court has given a big jolt to the Narendra Modi-led government's "illegal activities", the Prime Minister has been reminded that the nation bows before Constitution and not him, the Congress said.

    12:14 (IST)10 Jan 2020
    SC verdict on Kashmir restrictions LIVE: 'J&K was waiting for this decision, top court order clear to Centre'

    Welcoming today's developments, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad told reporters, "Each individual in Jammu and Kashmir was waiting for this decision. The Supreme Court has made it clear to the Government of India that it should publish all the orders passed since August 5, 2019. The court has also said that any order on the internet comes under judicial scrutiny." 

    11:45 (IST)10 Jan 2020
    SC verdict on Kashmir restrictions LIVE: What the court said?

    "Freedom of trade and commerce through the medium of the internet is also constitutionally protected under Article 19(1)(g), subject to the restrictions provided under Article 19(6. It goes without saying that the Government is entitled to restrict the freedom of speech and expression guaranteed under Article 19(1)(a) if the need be so, in compliance with the requirements under Article 19(2). It is in this context, while the nation is facing such adversity, an abrasive statement with imminent threat may be restricted if the same impinges upon sovereignty and integrity of India. Since any such order has serious implications on the fundamental rights of the affected parties, the same should be supported by sufficient material and should be amenable to judicial review," the Supreme Court observed.

    11:26 (IST)10 Jan 2020
    SC verdict on Kashmir restrictions LIVE: 'Indefinite internet ban an abuse of power'

    Speaking to reporters outside the Supreme Court, advocate Sadan Farasat said, "The Court said that the indefinite internet ban by the Union territory is not permissible under our Constitution and it is an abuse of power." 

    11:13 (IST)10 Jan 2020
    SC verdict on Kashmir restrictions LIVE: 'Follow doctrine of proportionality while passing orders'

    "The internet shutdown is applicable only in unavoidable situations. Authorities must explore alternate means before doing that," the Supreme Court bench said, adding that magistrates while passing prohibitory orders, should apply mind and follow the doctrine of proportionality".

    11:09 (IST)10 Jan 2020
    SC verdict on Kashmir restrictions LIVE: 'Section 144 of CrPC cannot be used to curb liberty'

    "Section 144 of CrPC cannot be used to curb liberty, it can be used only where there is a likelihood of incitement of violence and danger to public safety. Some trade and occupations are dependent on the internet. The freedom to practice such trade and occupations is protected under Article 19(1)(g) of Constitution," the court said. 

    11:04 (IST)10 Jan 2020
    SC verdict on Kashmir restrictions LIVE: All orders must be reviewed within 7 days, says apex court

    The apex court also said that all orders of suspension of telecom services and those related to Section 144 of CrPC must be reviewed by concerned authority within seven days. It added that all future orders must be reviewed in a timely manner. The court also said that Section 144 of CrPC is a remedial and preventive measure and must be subject to the test of proportionality and used only if there is a likelihood of violence and danger to public safety.

    10:53 (IST)10 Jan 2020
    SC verdict on Kashmir restrictions LIVE: 'Indefinite internet suspension is violation of telecom rules'

    "All orders suspending such services must be published so that those affected can challenge if necessary. All orders are to be also put in the public domain which can then be challenged in a court of law. Internet suspension without any particular duration and indefinitely is a violation of telecom rules," the SC bench observed. It also directed the government to produce all orders by which Section 144 is invoked.

    10:49 (IST)10 Jan 2020
    SC verdict on Kashmir restrictions LIVE: 'Disagreement does not justify destabilization'

    "Disagreement does not justify destabilization. The power under Section 144 of CrPC cannot be used as a curb on the legitimate expression of democratic rights. No doubt that the freedom of press is a right is a part of right under 19(1)(a) and is required in every modern democracy," the bench said.

    10:47 (IST)10 Jan 2020
    SC verdict on Kashmir restrictions LIVE: Curb of internet only an extraordinary measure, says top court

    The Supreme Court bench also said: "The complete curb of the internet must be considered by the state only as an extraordinary measure. Any order that has been passed to restrict/suspend internet services shall be subject to judicial scrutiny."

    10:45 (IST)10 Jan 2020
    SC verdict on Kashmir restrictions LIVE: 'Fundamental rights cannot be in exercise of arbitrary powers'

    We consider the restriction on fundamental rights cannot be in the exercise of arbitrary powers, Justice Ramana said. The test of proportionality needs to be satisfied. This freedom can only be restricted after relevant factors are considered and only if there is no other option, he added.

    10:40 (IST)10 Jan 2020
    SC verdict on Kashmir restrictions LIVE: Importance of internet cannot be underestimated, says apex court

    The importance of internet cannot be underestimated and the internet as a tool should be distinguished from the Freedom of Expression through the internet, the apex court said. Internet is a major means of information, therefore the Freedom of Expression through the internet is part of Article 19(1)(a) and restrictions on it should be in accordance with restrictions to this right, the court observed.

    10:36 (IST)10 Jan 2020
    SC verdict on Kashmir restrictions LIVE: Court will not delve into political intent behind orders, says Justice Ramana

    Justice Ramana began reading out a passage from the classic 'Tale of two cities' before pronouncing the judgment. He also said that the court will not delve into the political intent behind the orders. The bench also observed that liberty and security are always at loggerheads and that it is the court's job to ensure that the citizens are provided their rights.

    10:33 (IST)10 Jan 2020
    SC verdict on Kashmir restrictions LIVE: Bench assembles to deliver judgment

    The bench of Justices N V Ramana, R Subhash Reddy and B R Gavai has assembled in the courtroom to deliver its verdict.

    10:31 (IST)10 Jan 2020
    SC verdict on Kashmir restrictions LIVE: I want to tell Valley nothing negative will happen, says Amit Shah

    In a bid to assuage fears of violence, Shah had told the House: “Kuchh nahin hoga (nothing will happen)” and the region will not be allowed to turn into another Kosovo. “It was heaven on earth and will remain so… Give us five years, and we will make Jammu and Kashmir the most developed state in the country… I want to tell the youth of Kashmir Valley that have faith in Narendra Modi government. Nothing negative will happen. All these (Opposition) people are telling you lies for their own politics. Don’t listen to them,” he said.

    10:25 (IST)10 Jan 2020
    SC verdict on Kashmir restrictions LIVE: 'After abrogation of Article 370, J&K will become integral part of India'

    Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who tabled the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, 2019 and the statutory resolution in Rajya Sabha after the Union Cabinet met at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s residence at 9.30 am to give the go-ahead, said: “Article 370 was a temporary provision… how long can a temporary provision be allowed to continue… After abrogation of Article 370, Jammu and Kashmir will truly become an integral part of India.” Saying Article 370 was at the root of terrorism, Shah told the House that full state status will be restored to Jammu and Kashmir at an appropriate time when normalcy returns.

    10:16 (IST)10 Jan 2020
    SC verdict on Kashmir restrictions LIVE: When did Centre revoke Article 370?

    In August last year, in a momentous decision to confine Article 370 of the Constitution to the dustbin of history and rewrite the political landscape of the country, the BJP-led NDA government had revoked the special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir and secured Rajya Sabha’s approval for a Bill to bifurcate the state into two Union Territories — Jammu and Kashmir with a legislature similar to Puducherry, and Ladakh without one like Chandigarh. The Bill was passed with a two-thirds majority of the members present in Rajya Sabha. In Lok Sabha, the statutory resolution scrapping the special status was passed by a voice vote in the evening. The bifurcation Bill will be taken up in Lok Sabha Tuesday. With special provisions gone, Indian laws will now apply to the newly created Union Territories.

    10:03 (IST)10 Jan 2020
    SC verdict on J&K LIVE: Executive Editor of Kashmir Times approaches apex court

    Other petitions include one by Executive Editor of Kashmir Times, Anuradha Bhasin, who contended there was a “communication blackout” in J&K and that the daily has not been able to publish from Srinagar after restrictions were put in place following the Centre’s announcement. On the last date of hearing, the Centre said many other newspapers were being published from Srinagar, and “our case is she (Bhasin) had consciously chosen not to publish”.

    09:54 (IST)10 Jan 2020
    SC verdict on J&K LIVE: Ghulam Nabi Azad’s plea among petitions to be heard today

    Asked about his petition earlier, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said: “My petition is non-political. It is my personal petition and not on behalf of the Congress party… It is on humanitarian grounds. I have expressed a concern as a citizen of the state and as an MP from the state.” “I tried to visit the state three times but was sent back, twice from Srinagar and once from Jammu. Approximately one third of our people are labourers. They are daily-wage earners… Nobody has paid attention to them. It has been 42 days (since restrictions have been imposed). Do they have food to eat?… nobody has bothered about their plight. So I am raising a humanitarian issue… it is a humanitarian question for the state government, Central government, media and the entire country….”

    09:40 (IST)10 Jan 2020
    SC verdict on J&K LIVE: What do the pleas say?

    The petitioners said that the restrictions had thrown life out of gear in the region and affected all sections of people, including farmers and daily wagers. They also questioned the curbs on internet and mobile communication and said this had a crippling effect on the lives of people.

    09:39 (IST)10 Jan 2020
    SC verdict on J&K LIVE: Who are the petitioners in the case?

    A bench of Justices N V Ramana, R Subhash Reddy and B R Gavai had reserved its decision in the matter on November 27, 2019. The court will decide petitions, including those by Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad and Kashmir Times Executive Editor Anuradha Bhasin.

    09:35 (IST)10 Jan 2020
    Supreme Court verdict today on pleas challenging curbs in J&K

    The Supreme Court will today deliver its verdict on petitions challenging the restrictions imposed in the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir following the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution in August last year. The court will decide on petitions including those by Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad and Kashmir Times Executive Editor Anuradha Bhasin. Follow our blog for all the latest updates.

    jammu and kashmir, kashmir news, kashmir restrictions, kashmir restrictions news, kashmir sc verdict, kashmir latest news, kashmir news today, kashmir latest news today, kashmir today news, jammu and kashmir latest news, jammu and kashmir situation today, jammu and kashmir live news, jammu and kashmir today news, kashmir issue, kashmir latest news, jk, jk latest news, jk live news, jk today news, jk latest news today Envoys from 15 countries in Srinagar at the start of a two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir, on Thursday. (Express)

    Five months after the Centre revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, envoys of 15 countries reached Srinagar on Thursday on a two-day visit to the Union Territory. After a security review briefing by 15 Corps commander Lieutenant General K J S Dhillon, the delegation went to a hotel where they held a series of meetings.

    Sources said the military briefing focused on cross-border terrorism with videos of infiltration. During their meeting with political leaders, there were questions about Article 370 and Article 35 A and release of political detainees, sources said. However, the general sense was to move on and build a peaceful future for J&K, sources said. The envoys had an informal chat with nearly 100 youths. A group of mediapersons also met the envoys and raised the issue of internet restrictions.

    Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir Police chief Dilbag Singh reviewed the law and order situation in south Kashmir and directed officers to augment the security grids in the Valley. He also called for increasing people's participation through interaction with the civil society at different levels.

    The Director General of Police made the remarks at security review meetings during his visit to the twin police districts of Kulgam and Awantipora in south Kashmir. Appreciating JK Police personnel and other security forces for neutralising terrorists, the DGP directed the officers to strengthen the checkpoints and augment the security grids to enhance security for the citizens of the Valley.

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