New Delhi: Observing that national security is of paramount importance, the Supreme Court, on Monday, directed the Centre and the Jammu and Kashmir governments to restore normalcy in the state keeping in mind the ‘national interests’.
An apex court bench, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, refused to pass any order on restoration of normalcy in J&K, saying, “We are not passing any orders. We are saying restore normalcy keeping in mind national security”. “We have said all facilities should be restored keeping in mind national security. We are not carving out exceptions for any category.”
The Court was hearing a petition by Kashmir Times’ Executive Editor Anuradha Bhasin who said she was not able to publish her newspaper from Srinagar as communication was “crippled” after the Centre’s decision to abrogate Article 370. Bhasin had said that she was still facing difficulties even a month after the restrictions were imposed.
An apex court Bench, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, said as the shutdown is in the valley itself, it can be dealt with by the J&K High Court. The top court also issued a notice to the Centre and the state on Bhasin’s plea.
On Monday, the top court heard a bunch of petitions filed against the restrictions in J&K, media curbs and abrogation of the Article 370.
Chief Justice Gogoi expressed concern and sought a report from the J&K High Court chief justice on allegations that people are finding it difficult to approach the high court. Gogoi said, “It is extremely serious if people are unable to approach the high court. I will myself visit Srinagar.”