Referring a clutch of petitions challenging the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir to a Constitution Bench, the Supreme Court on Monday said that the matter will be taken up for hearing tomorrow (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", reported NDTV.
"We do not have the time to hear so many matters. We have the Constitution bench case (Ayodhya dispute) to hear," he said.
A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi on Monday also took up Rajya Sabha member Vaiko's petition regarding National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah, who has been under house arrest since 5 August (when Centre decided to revoke special status for Jammu and Kashmir), however, declined to pass an order on the petition. Noting that the government has booked Abdullah under the Public Safety Act, Gogoi directed Vaiko to challenge the move before the appropriate authority, CNN-News18 reported.
A Constitution Bench headed by Justice NV Ramana, comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Subhash Reddy, BR Gavai and Surya Kant, will hear the plea filed by Bhasin, which is seeking the removal of the communication blockade in Kashmir, which was imposed on 4 August as a "preventive measure" before the government abrogated the law which accorded the restive region with a degree of autonomy. Bhasin has also petitioned for the "free movement of journalists and the press in Kashmir".
In addition to this, the public interest litigation (PIL) filed by child rights experts Enakshi Ganguly and Professor Shanta Sinha, alleging "illegal detention" of children in Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation, will also be taken up on Tuesday. Live Law quoted Gogoi as saying that "the report of the Jammu and Kashmir Juvenile Justice Committee regarding the allegations has been received."
The PIL seeking direction for the Centre to "immediately" restore high-speed internet services and fix landline phone services across all hospitals and medical establishments of the Jammu and Kashmir, filed by Dr Sameer Kaul has also been referred to the Constitution Bench.
The habeas corpus petition filed by CPM leader Sitaram Yechury will also be taken by the Constitution Bench on Tuesday.
With inputs from agencies
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Updated Date: Sep 30, 2019 16:27:55 IST