Will restore normalcy in J&K within a few days: Govt to Supreme Court

Supreme Court
The government on Friday told the Supreme Court that it was working to restore communications in the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) region and would restore normalcy in the region "within a few days". Attorney General K K Venugopal told the three-judge bench, led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, that the situation in the valley was improving gradually and all the curbs in place currently were being lifted slowly, according to reports from security and intelligence agencies.

"The security forces deployed in Jammu and Kashmir and authorities are taking stock of situation on day-to-day basis. As far as the situation is concerned it would be settled gradually and, therefore, there is no need to jump to any conclusions," Venugopal told the three-judge bench.

Following the submissions made by the centre, the apex court said it would be right to give the government a little more time.

"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," the three-judge Bench said.

The apex court was hearing a petition moved by Anuradha Bhasin, the Executive Editor of Kashmir Times, who wanted directions from the court for the early restoration of communications in order to enable the journalists to carry on with their work. In her petition, Bhasin had requested directions from the court for immediate relaxation of all restrictions placed on media, along with the freedom of movement for journalists and media personnel in Kashmir and some districts of Jammu.

“No formal orders, under which such action was taken, were communicated by the Centre and state administrators, and power and authority under which such excessive and arbitrary action was ordered is still unknown to the petitioner,” Bhasin said in her plea.

Apart from the petition moved by Bhasin, another petition filed by advocate M L Sharma, and another filed by advocate Shakil Sabeer, a resident of J&K, were also scheduled to be heard by the court. The apex court, however, expressed deep anguish over the incomplete petitions, and said that it would hear these cases only after the defects in the plea were cured.

“What kind of petition is this? It could have been dismissed but there are 5 other pleas with the registry which are under defect,” the bench, also comprising Justices S A Bobde, and S A Najeer, said.

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