We would like to give little time to govt: SC

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 8/17/2019 12:25:43 PM

KT’s petition seeks removal of restrictions on media

NEW DELHI, Aug 16: The Supreme Court on Friday said it will wait for sometime 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.
During the hearing, the Centre told the apex court that the situation is improving in Jammu and Kashmir and the curbs are being lifted gradually.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and justices S A Bobde and S A Najeer said, "We would like to give little time. We have read in newspaper today that landline and broadband connections are being restored gradually. Therefore, we will take up the petition with other connected matters. We also got a call today from CJ of J&K HC." "We will see when the matter can be listed for hearing. We will fix a date on the administrative side," the bench said.
In her petition, Kashmir Times executive editor Anuradha Bhasin had sought directions for the immediate restoration of communication lines so that the media could function freely in the region. She also pushed for the centre to relax all restrictions on the movement of mediapersons in Kashmir and some districts of Jammu.
Advocate Vrinda Grover, appearing for Anuradha Bhasin, Executive Editor, Kashmir Times, said there was a need for early restoration of communication mode for journalists to carry out their work.
The government's lawyer KK Venugopal said the newspaper was being published from Jammu where the curbs were lifted. The Supreme Court said it will take up the matter on media restrictions along with other related matters, without fixing a date for the next hearing.
Jammu and Kashmir has been under an unprecedented security cover and prohibitory orders banning large gatherings since August 4 - a day before the government announced that it has withdrawn special status for the state and will bifurcate it into two union territories. While the police said on Wednesday that the curbs in Jammu were completely removed, it said the restrictions in Kashmir will continue "for sometime". As part of a complete communications blackout, phone services and internet connections remain suspended in the Kashmir Valley and curfew-like restrictions are in place.
Chief Justice Gogoi, along with Justices SA Bobde and SA Nazeer were hearing Sharma's petition challenging the Article 370 move as well as another plea by the Kashmir Times editor seeking removal of restrictions on the media.
Adjourning the hearing, the Chief Justice said the court would take up the petition on media restrictions and "would like to give a little more time to the issue."
Jammu and Kashmir has been under an unprecedented security cover and prohibitory orders banning large gatherings since August 4 - a day before the government announced that it has withdrawn special status for the state and will bifurcate it into two union territories.
While the police said on Wednesday that the curbs in Jammu were completely removed, it said the restrictions in Kashmir will continue "for sometime". As part of a complete communications blackout, phone services and internet connections remain suspended in the Kashmir Valley and curfew-like restrictions are in place.

 

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