Supreme Court asks Centre to restore normalcy in Kashmir
Makes it clear that the restoration would be on a 'selective basis' keeping in mind national interest
New Delhi: The Centre and the Jammu and Kashmir administration were on Monday asked by the Supreme Court to restore normalcy in the Valley as early as possible, even as former chief minister Farooq Abdullah, under preventive detention since August 5, was slapped with the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA). As the apex court asked the authorities to keep in mind national interest while taking the necessary steps on a "selective basis", Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said he himself will visit Srinagar, if required, after terming as "very very serious" the allegation that people are finding it very difficult to approach the Jammu and Kashmir High Court.
"You are saying that you cannot go to the high court. We have called a report from Chief Justice of the high court. If required, I will myself go there," the CJI said, while requesting the Chief Justice of the high court to file a report. Normal life in Kashmir Valley remained affected on Monday for the 43rd consecutive day.
With the top court taking up multiple pleas on J and K, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the state, told the bench headed by Justice Gogoi that not a single bullet has been fired by security forces after August 5 when Article 370 that granted special status to J&K was revoked and the state bifurcated into two separate union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
The J&K administration as well as the Centre should make "every endeavour to restore the normalcy as early as possible", a bench of the apex court said, adding the "restoration will be on a selective basis keeping in mind the national interest".The CJI-headed bench that comprised justices S A Bobde and S A Nazeer was also told by Attorney General K K Venugopal about the steps taken by authorities to restore normalcy. It asked Venugopal to file an affidavit indicating the steps taken so far.
When the top court was told about the alleged "shutdown" of mobile and Internet services in the Valley, the bench said these issues could be dealt with by the J&K High Court.
SC notice to Centre over Abdullah
The Supreme Court Monday directed the Centre and the Jammu and Kashmir administration to respond to a plea which has sought that former chief minister Farooq Abdullah, under detention following scrapping of the state’s special status under Article 370, be produced before the court. A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S A Bobde and S A Nazeer issued notice to the Centre and state administration and asked them to file their replies by September 30 on the plea by Rajya Sabha MP Vaiko. "Is he (Abdullah) under detention?," the bench asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who was appearing for J&K.
Mehta said, "I do not have a copy of the petition. I have to take instruction on this."
There was no word by the lawyers from any side during the hearing that the J&K administration has slapped PSA to detain him.
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