SC To Hear Plea On Article 370 In Oct

The Supreme Court on Wednesday said that a five-judge Constitution Bench will hear all petitions related to abrogation of Article 370 and Articles 35A from the first week of October.

The top court also issued notices to Centre and other petitioners in the connection.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi was hearing a batch of pleas on Article 370 and the ban on internet, telephone, communications and other restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir. The petitions were filed by several parties including National Conference, Congress, CPI-M and some Kashmiri lawyers.

The apex court also allowed CPI(M)leader Sitaram Yechury to visit Jammu and Kashmir and meet his party leader and former MLA, Yousuf Tarigami.

However, the court said that Yechury’s visit should only be only to meet Tarigami as a friend, and not for any political purpose.

The court allowed Kashmiri student Mohammad Aleem Sayed to travel to Anantnag to meet his parents. It directed the Jammu and Kashmir administration to provide police protection to the student.

The top court also issued another notice to the Centre seeking a detailed report within seven days on a petition filed by Kashmir Times executive editor, Anuradha Bhasin, which sought a direction for relaxing restrictions on the internet, landline, and other communication channels.

Bhasin, in her plea on August 13, had sought relaxation on restrictions imposed on the free movement of journalists and media persons.

The litigant claimed that Kashmir Times, which is the largest circulated daily in Jammu and Kashmir, has not been printed and published for a long time owing to restrictions on all communication services and movement.

She also said that the ban was curbing journalists’ rights provided under the different provisions of the Constitution.

Meanwhile, the apex court also refused a request from the Centre to appoint an interlocutor for Jammu and Kashmir.

Earlier this month, both houses of Parliament had also passed the Jammu and Kashmir (Reorganisation) Bill, 2019 and the resolution abrogating Article 370.

The reorganisation bill provides for the formation of the two separate Union Territories — Jammu and Kashmir with legislature and Ladakh without legislature.

Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh will come into existence as separate Union Territories on October 31. (ANI)

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