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SC won’t interfere with restrictions in J&K, says Govt needs time

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New Delhi, Aug 13: The Supreme Court has refused to interfere with the restrictions imposed in Jammu and Kashmir in the aftermath of Section 370 being abrogated.

The court said that it would not interfere in the issue for now and adjourned the matter by 2 weeks.

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The court sought to know from the Attorney General K K Venugopal as to how long it would take to restore normal services in J&K. The AG said that the situation is being reviewed on a daily basis. It is a preventive step, he also said.

Venugopal cited the Burhan Wani incident and said that 46 persons had died in its aftermath. The situation in J&K is dynamic and a certain section is waiting for an opportunity.

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The court observed that the the government must be given sometime to restore normalcy in J&K. A real picture must emerge, before the court can pass any order. Every pros and cons must be considered in a matter like this. Who will be responsible if something really bad happens tomorrow.

The government too would want normalcy as soon as possible the Bench observed.

The court also criticised the petition filed by Tehseen Poonawala, an activist. It is a badly drafted petition, the court said. Even the petitioner may not know the truth, the court said while adding that it is a badly drafted petition.

The court was hearing a petition filed by Anuradha Bhasin, the executive editor of Kashmir Times. She had challenged the restrictions on working journalists in the aftermath of Article 370 being scrapped.

Another plea filed by Congress activist Tehseen Poonawalla is listed for hearing before a bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra, M R Shah and Ajay Rastogi.

He has sought a direction from the top court for the release of leaders like former chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, who are under detention.

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He has further sought setting up of a judicial commission to inquire into ground realities there.

The activist has claimed that the decisions that have been taken by the Centre violate fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 19 and 21 of the Constitution.

"The inhabitants of the state of J&K are suffering on account of unwarranted imposition of curfew and/ or restrictions under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, preventive arrests, snapping of phone lines, suspension of internet services, media gag,barred access to healthcare, educational institutions, banks, public offices, shops and establishments and all other basic amenities," the plea said.

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