NEW DELHI: Blaming the government for delaying the hearing of the case related to the imposition of various restrictions following the abrogation of provisions of Article 370 in the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, petitioners on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that rights of around seven million people in the Valley are important and the government cannot justify these blanket restrictions by saying that these have been imposed as Kashmir has been affected by terrorism.
Senior advocate Dushyant Dave appearing for one of the petitioners challenging the communication shutdown in the Valley said, “Courts are the supreme protector of rights of citizens in the country and the apex court has always stood up to protect the rights of the people. Arguments on the part of the state that all these actions are due to long-time terrorism in Kashmir has to be rejected. This cannot come in the way of liberty and rights of the citizens. Tomorrow, they may say that in Naxal-affected areas, restrictions will be imposed. Can the state do this? They cannot take shelter under terror incidents.”
On this, the bench headed by Justice N V Ramana said that it was aware of the seriousness of issues related to the imposition of various restrictions and expressed its displeasure that neither Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who is representing J&K administration, nor any additional solicitor general were present during the hearing. “We are making it clear that on no grounds the matter will be adjourned,” the bench said.