A five-judge Supreme Court Constitution Bench on Tuesday will hear a clutch of petitions challenging the ongoing lockdown in Jammu and Kashmir and other related matters.
On Monday, the court had postponed the hearings by a day and said the three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi did not have the time to hear the pleas.
“We don’t have time to hear so many matters,” reports quoted Gogoi as having said. “We have a Constitution Bench [Ayodhya dispute] case going on… These petitions will be heard by the Kashmir Bench.”
Reports said that Justices NV Ramana, Sanjay Kishan Kaul, R Subhash Reddy, Bhushan Gavai and Surya Kant are part of the Kashmir 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 court 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 Bench. In her affidavit, Anuradha Bhasin claimed that the “information blackhole” in the Kashmir Valley was still continuing. In an additional affidavit on September 4, Bhasin had said that despite the administration’s claims that restrictions were being withdrawn, movement of journalists in Srinagar was being curbed.
On August 28, the Supreme Court had asked the Centre and the state administration to respond to the petition within seven days, reported scroll.in.
Earlier, on August 16, the court had said it would like to give the government a little more time to review the situation.