New Delhi, Sep 30: Referring a clutch of petitions challenging the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir to a Constitution Bench, the Supreme Court said that the matter will be taken up for hearing Tuesday as the bench does not have time due to daily hearings in the Ayodhya case.
The petitions include the pleas filed by Kashmir Times editor Anuradha Bhasin against the communications blockade, and by child rights activists against the “illegal” detention of children in the newly-formed Union Territory.
Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said the bench did not have time to hear the petitions because of the daily hearings in the Ayodhya case, adding that the Constitution Bench on Kashmir would take up “all issues from tomorrow”.
“We do not have the time to hear so many matters. We have the Constitution bench case (Ayodhya dispute) to hear,” he said.
A five-judge Constitution Bench will hear the petitions from Tuesday, reported Bar and Bench. The pleas have challenged the communication blockade in the state, the alleged illegal detention of children, and the impact of restrictions on healthcare.
The “Kashmir Bench” of Justices NV Ramana, Sanjay Kishan Kaul, R Subhash Reddy, Bhushan Gavai and Surya Kant will also take up a new petition filed by Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Mohammed Yousuf Tarigami challenging the validity of the revocation of the state’s special status.
The Supreme Court referred a plea filed by Kashmir Times Executive Editor Anuradha Bhasin and an application by child rights expert Enakshi Ganguly and Shanta Sinha to the Constitution Bench.
In her affidavit, Anuradha Bhasin claimed that the “information blackhole” was still continuing in the Valley. In an additional affidavit on September 4, Bhasin had said though the administration claimed that restrictions were being withdrawn, movement of journalists in Srinagar was still curbed.
On August 28, the Supreme Court had asked the Centre and the state administration to respond to Bhasin’s petition within seven days. Earlier, on August 16, the Supreme Court had said it would like to give the government a little more time to review the situation.
Child rights activists Ganguly and Sinha had last week sought clarity about reports of children being illegally detained by security forces. They had alleged that they could not file a plea in the High Court because the shutdown and restrictions on public movement.
The court also issued a notice to the Centre on a petition demanding the restoration of high-speed internet services and landline phones across all hospitals and medical facilities in Jammu and Kashmir, reported ANI. The communications blackout was imposed on August 5 to quell resistance against the Union government’s move. On Sunday, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had claimed that there were no restrictions in the state. The Bharatiya Janata Party leader added that the lack of a phone connection was not a human rights violation.
The court, however, dismissed Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam chief Vaiko’s petition seeking the release of Jammu and Kashmir National Conference President Farooq Abdullah from detention, reported PTI. Vaiko had said Abdullah was due to attend a conference on the birth anniversary of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister CN Annadurai in Chennai on September 15. (Agencies)
No power can stop KPs from returning to Kashmir: Rajnath
Mangaluru, Jan 27: No power can now stop Kashmiri Pandits from going back to Kashmir, defence minister Rajnath Singh said on Monday, forcefully defending the NDA government’s decision to reorganize Jammu and Kashmir and abrogating its special status under Article 370.
In an address at a rally, the defence minister also sent a strong message to Pakistan and said India will not let anyone live in peace if it is harmed.
“We will not touch anyone, but if someone bothers us, then we are not going to let them live in peace,” he said.
Referring to the exodus of a large number of Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley in the late 1990s at the height of militancy, Singh said no power now can stop them from returning to their homes.
On the Citizenship Amendment Act, the minister said it is not a law to hurt the sentiments of any religion but to give relief to victims of religious persecution.
“Mahatma Gandhi had told Nehru to give citizenship to minorities like Hindus and Sikhs if they come to India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has fulfilled that vision by bringing in the law,” Singh said.
On several non-BJP states refusing to implement the CAA, the defence minister said it it is a central law and everyone should follow it.
Accusing the Congress of misleading people on the issue, he said the party should not forget its duty towards the nation just because it is in opposition.
More snow, rains from today
Srinagar, Jan 27: The local meteorological department has predicted yet another spell of rains and snow in Kashmir from Tuesday, even as minimum temperatures settled above the freezing point on Monday, providing some relief to the people.
In a statement, the MeT department predicted widespread moderate rains and snow on Tuesday which will dwindle to scattered places by Wednesday.
“Generally cloudy sky to widespread light to moderate rain/snow from night of 27th January. Widespread moderate rain and snow for the next two days,” read the MeT statement.
On Monday, Srinagar recorded a minimum temperature of 0.6 degrees Celsius, up from the minus 0.2 degrees Celsius on Sunday, a MET official said.
He said the night temperature in the city was above the freezing point for the first time in recent days and it was 1.6 degrees above normal for this part of the season.
In Qazigund the gateway town to the valley in south Kashmir the minimum settled at a low of 0.8 degrees Celsius an increase of 1.5 degrees from the previous night’s minus 0.7 degrees Celsius.
The night temperature in Pahalgam tourist resort in south Kashmir settled at a low of minus 10.4 degrees Celsius down over seven degrees from the minus 3 degrees Celsius on Sunday and Pahalgam was the coldest recorded place in the Kashmir Valley, the official added.
The ski-resort of Gulmarg, in north Kashmir, registered a minimum of minus 10.2 degrees Celsius, the official added.
The night temperature in Kokernag in south settled at a low of minus 0.8 degrees Celsius, while Kupwara in north recorded a low of minus 4.4 degrees Celsius, the official said.
Leh in Ladakh Union Territory recorded a low of minus 18.4 degrees Celsius, he said, adding the nearby Drass registered a minimum of minus 27.8 degrees Celsius.
Nixing Sher-e-Kashmir from awards political vendetta: NC
Srinagar, Jan 27: National Conference Monday took strong exception to axing of the name of Sheikh Abdullah from various J&K police gallantry awards, saying the measure has taken vendetta to a higher level.
During a meet of party functionaries here, the NC leaders and workers unanimously condemned the axing of ‘Sher-e-Kashmir from J&K Police gallantry awards.
“It is a calibrated effort to trim every single symbol of J&K’s political individuality. The present ruling dispensation in Delhi heaving with subjective prejudices and complexes against ideals revolving around the Indian constitution and the spirits of its accommodative federalism hasn’t ceased its witch hunt against everything recognisable with sheikh Abdullah. The axing of Sher-e-Kashmir’s name from state gallantry awards should be seen in that direction. It is yet another glaring attempt of perversion aimed to distort J&K’s history, which has long been familiarized with Sheikh Abdullah even decades after his physically leaving the world,” said party spokesperson Imran Nabi Dar.
He said nixing Sher-e-Kashmir’s name from awards, and state holidays cannot erase him from J&K’s history.
“His persona is above petty recognitions, and awards. A conscious leader, he preached to his countrymen to overcome timidity and prejudices. He decried lack of courage as a biggest curse in achieving self-respect,” he said.
While rebuffing former deputy CM Nirmal Singh’s remarks on Sheikh Abdullah, Imran said: “We unequivocally condemn his uncouth remarks against Sheikh Sahib. Being lost into the obscurity he is hitting on the tallest political statesman and charismatic mass leader of J&K and Sub-continent to gain cheap publicity.”
Meanwhile party’s members of parliament Muhammad Akbar Lone and (Retd) Justice Hassnain Masoodi also condemned axing of Sher-e-Kashmir’s name from JK police gallantry awards, terming the move “vengeful and shocking”.