Govt should be given time to restore normalcy in J&K: SC

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to pass an order on a plea seeking withdrawal of undeclared curfew/restrictions and all other regressive measures including blocking of phone lines, internet and news channels from Jammu and Kashmir in the wake of revocation of Article 370 by the Centre.

The top court said it was too early for it to intervene and that it was against playing the role of a day-to-day administrator. It will wait for “normalcy to return to Jammu and Kashmir” and then hear the matter again after 2 weeks.

The plea was filed by social activist Tehseen Poonawala.

During the hearing of the plea, a bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra, asked Attorney General for the government, Tushar Mehta: “How long are you going to continue this? (lockdown in Kashmir)”

“We are trying that there is the least inconvenience to the people. We deployed troops in large number to ensure peace in Jammu and Kashmir,” Mehta replied.

“‘We are reviewing the day-to-day situation. It is a highly sensitive situation but it is in the interest of everyone. Not a single drop of blood has been shed, no one has died so far,” he added.

Attorney General KK Venugopal also supported the argument given by Mehta and said every step is taken to bring normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir.

“Government is reviewing the situation on a daily basis and it will be settled in a few days, but that will depend on the ground situation,” he said.

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After this, Mishra said, “as early as possible, you must restore the situation”.

Meanwhile, the apex court told litigant’s advocate Maneka Guruswamy to wait for normalcy to come back.

“We are with you in the restoration of human rights. People must enjoy fundamental rights. We shall wait for the restoration of normalcy, if nothing happens you can back to the court,” the bench said.

In his petition, Poonawala had also challenged the detention of National Conference leader Omar Abdullah and People’s Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti and Jammu and Kashmir People’s Conference leader Sajjad Lone who were arrested on August 5.

The court has scheduled the matter for hearing after two weeks.

The Centre on August 5 scrapped the special status to Jammu and Kashmir and passed the Jammu and Kashmir (Reorganization) Act 2019, reorganizing the state into two Union Territories — Jammu and Kashmir with legislature and Ladakh without it.

(With ANI inputs)

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