Published: Sat, January 11, 2020
Tech | By Anita Cain

Supreme Court's J&K Order Rebuff To Centre's "Arrogant" Stance: P Chidambaram

Supreme Court's J&K Order Rebuff To Centre's

The Congress on Friday said that the Supreme Court's ruling that dissent can not be suppressed by imposition of prohibitory orders in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) had given a jolt to the Modi-led government.

Free speech through internet is a fundamental right under Article 19. "An order suspending internet services indefinitely is impermissible under the Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency or Public Service) Rules, 2017".

Javaid Malik, an editor with the Greater Kashmir newspaper, told Anadolu Agency the envoys asked journalists about the media's role post August 5, whether Pakistan was interfering in Kashmir, whether circulation of newspapers had increased because of the internet gag and the state of governance in the past seven decades.

Gouhar Geelani, a journalist and writer from Kashmir, said Modi's Hindu nationalist party had used the internet clampdown "to control the Kashmir narrative by placing restrictions on mainstream media and social media platforms".

It also directed the Jammu and Kashmir administration to review the restrictive orders imposed in the region within a week.

India's Supreme Court on Friday ordered a review of all restrictions in India-administered Kashmir, including a five-month-long internet shutdown. The Internet in the Kashmir Valley has yet to be restored.

The apex court has ordered that Centre publish all orders of the government under Section 144 imposing restrictions, including curbing of internet.

Jairam Ramesh, a leader of one of the country's biggest parties, Indian National Congress (INC), condemned the foreign diplomats' tour, asking why New Delhi was not allowing Indian politicians into occupied Kashmir. The court also required the government to be more transparent about its Internet shutdown orders.

But in a ruling likely to disappoint Kashmiris, in the preamble to their judgment Supreme Court justices said they did not intend to "delve into the political propriety" of instructing the government to act. "Our limited concern is to find a balance regarding security and liberty of people".

A three-member bench ruled that though it was not in favour of considering the political intent of the decisions of the federal government, it wanted to ensure that citizens were provided with all rights and security.

"The objective of the visit is for the envoys to see the efforts being made by the government to bring the situation to normal and see first-hand the impact of a series of steps taken by the local administration to normalize the situation in recent weeks".

The petitions were filed after the central government scrapped Article 370 in August and bifurcated Jammu and Kashmir into two UTs - Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

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