India Supreme Court refuses to pass any order on Kashmir

IANS . New Delhi | Update:

Indian security personal stand guard on a deserted road during restrictions on the Eid-al-Azha after the scrapping of the special constitutional status for Kashmir by the Indian government, in Srinagar, on 12 August 2019. Photo: Reuters

The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to pass any interim or immediate order on lifting of restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir, including restoring communication services, and said the Centre was free to take a call on the curbs given the sensitivity of the situation.

An apex court Bench, headed by justice Arun Mishra, made the observation when the Centre submitted that it was doing everything necessary to maintain law and order in J&K.

The apex court said the Centre required time to restore normalcy as nothing could be done overnight and deferred for two weeks the hearing on a petition filed by Congress leader Tehseen Poonawalla, challenging the Centre's decision to impose restrictions and "other regressive measures" in J&K.Kashmiris walk past a blockade put up by residents to prevent security personnel from sealing a mosque ground ahead of the Eid-al-Azha prayers during restrictions after the scrapping of the special constitutional status for Kashmir by the Indian government, in Srinagar, on 12 August 2019. Photo: Reuters

Observing that it was a "serious issue", the court said it would not interfere right now and let the government continue with its efforts to maintain law and order in the Valley.

Assuring the court that normalcy would be restored in the Valley in a few days, the Centre said during disturbances in 2016, 47 people had been killed but not a single person had died this time.

The government also informed the court it was reviewing the situation on a daily basis and was committed to ensure least human rights violations.A Kashmiri man breaks down at a function where fellow compatriots gathered to observe Eid al-Azha festival, away from their home in Kashmir, where the Indian government has imposed restrictions after scrapping the special constitutional status, in New Delhi, India, on 12 August 2019. Photo: Reuters

Last week, Article 370 of the Constitution, which allowed special status to J&K, was revoked and curfew was imposed to prevent untoward incidents in the state.

Poonawala had moved the apex court seeking withdrawal of curfew and other restrictions and restoration of education and health services.

When the court asked how long the curbs in Valley would continue, attorney general (AG) KK Venugopal said the government was trying to ensure least inconvenience to the people and maintain the peace.A motorist shows his identity card to a security personnel after being stopped for questioning at a roadblock during a lockdown in Srinagar on 12 August 2019. Photo: AFP

He said the situation was highly sensitive.

Representing Poonawala, Maneka Guruswamy said such was the situation that nobody knew about the happenings there. If government's intention was to make Kashmiris full citizens, then it could not impose such restrictions, she submitted.

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