The Supreme Court's landmark verdict on the legality of restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir is a warning to the "arrogant" position of the central government, Congress leader P Chidambaram tweeted this afternoon. Responding to the top court's orders on the suspension of internet services and the use of prohibitory orders in Jammu and Kashmir, he also called on former Governor Satya Pal Malik to "own responsibility" and resign from his current post as Governor of Goa.
"The Supreme Court order is a rebuff to the unconstitutional and arrogant stance of the central government and the J&K administration on the restrictions imposed (there)," the former Home Minister said, adding, "The team that designed the plan should be changed... new set of administrators who respect the Constitution should be appointed".
"Former Governor of J&K, Mr Satya Pal Malik, should own responsibility and resign from his present post of Governor, Goa," Mr Chidambaram said.
SC order is a rebuff to the unconstitutional and arrogant stance of the central government and the J&K administration on the restrictions imposed in J&K.— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) January 10, 2020
Bringing massive relief to the people of Kashmir after months of communication lockdown, the Supreme Court today said the right to internet is part of the constitutional right to freedom of speech and ordered the J&K administration to review, within one week, all restrictive orders in place since the centre ended special status in August.
The court also pulled up the centre over Section 144, a colonial-era law meant to stop large gatherings, saying its repeated use amounted to "abuse of power".
Mr Chidambaram, who was released from Delhi's Tihar Jail last month after spending 105 days in prison over the INX Media case, has been a frequent critic of the centre over security restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir.
Last month, while visiting his hometown of Chennai, he reminded supporters that "in several parts of the nation, freedom is being snatched away and voices of freedom are being choked".
"This retrograde government is heading towards fascism that denies freedom. We've got to be cautious," he declared.
In August, shortly after the measures were announced and hundreds of political leaders, including three former Chief Ministers, were detained, Mr Chidambaram said it was the "new normal". Earlier that month he said the BJP would not have "snatched away" J&K's special status had it been a Hindu-dominated state.