- Constitution bench on Kashmir to take up "all issues from tomorrow"
- We do not have the time to hear so many matters, top court said
- Top court also to hear petitions challenging Article 370 move
All petitions related to Jammu and Kashmir, where massive security restrictions are in place since the government scrapped special status to the state under Article 370, were today put off by a day by the Supreme Court, which said they would be taken up by a Constitution bench from Tuesday.
Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said the bench did not have time because of the daily hearings on the Ayodhya case, and the constitution bench on Kashmir would take up "all issues from tomorrow", along with the validity of the government's decision to end special status.
"We do not have the time to hear so many matters. We have the Constitution bench case (Ayodhya dispute) to hear," said the Supreme Court.
A five-judge bench headed by Justice NV Ramana will hear all Kashmir-related cases from tomorrow.
Petitions that will now be taken up by the constitution bench include those against restrictions imposed on movement of journalists in Kashmir and also claiming the illegal detention of minors.
The Supreme Court also refused to continue with Rajya Sabha MP Vaiko's petition asking that Farooq Abdullah be produced in court, saying that the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister's detention should be challenged under the Public Safety Act (PSA).
Mr Abdullah, who had been detained without any specific charges since August 5, when the restrictions were imposed, was charged on September 17 under the Public Safety Act, which allows detention without trial for upto two years.
The Chief Justice and two other judges hearing the Kashmir cases are all on the Ayodhya bench. On September 18, the Supreme Court had given itself the deadline of October 18 to complete its hearings on the temple-mosque dispute. The Ayodhya judgement has to be delivered before Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi retires on November 17, or the entire process will have to start again.