This Article is From Aug 28, 2019

Notice To Centre Over Removal Of Restrictions On Journalists In J&K

The top court issued notices on two petitions, filed by Anuradha Bhasin, Executive Editor of Kashmir Times, and Congress activist Tehseen Poonawalla

Notice To Centre Over Removal Of Restrictions On Journalists In J&K

Restrictions are still in place at many areas in Jammu and Kashmir after special status was scrapped

New Delhi:

The Supreme Court today told the centre and the Jammu and Kashmir administration to reply to the pleas seeking removal of restrictions in the state, including communications blockade, that are hampering the functioning of the media after special status was scrapped.

The top court issued notices on two petitions, filed by Anuradha Bhasin, Executive Editor of Kashmir Times, and Congress activist Tehseen Poonawalla.

A bench, comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices SA Bobde and SA Nazeer, posted the mater for hearing after a week.

Advocate Vrinda Grover, appearing for Ms Bhasin, said, "We are in the 24th day of information blackout due to restrictions imposed there".

Ms Bhasin has sought directions for restoration of all modes of communication, including mobile internet and landline services, throughout the state in order to provide an enabling environment for the media to practise its profession.

In the petition, the editor said she is seeking a direction to the centre and the Jammu and Kashmir administration to immediately relax all restrictions on freedom of movement of journalists and media personnel in Kashmir valley and some districts of Jammu region.

Mr Poonawalla's counsel had earlier said that he was not expressing any opinion on Article 370 but had sought withdrawal of "curfew/restrictions" and other alleged regressive measures including blocking of phone lines, Internet and news channels.

He had said people need to talk to their family members and have a right to know their well-being in the situation prevailing there.

Mr Poonawalla also sought a direction from the top court for the release of leaders like former Chief Ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, who are under arrest.