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Restrictions imposed in J-K by Centre to be reviewed from time to time: SC

The three judge bench asked the Jammu and Kashmir administration to provide clarity on Centre’s plan of imposing unprecedented restrictions in the Valley.

SNS | New Delhi |

The Supreme Court on Thursday told the Jammu and Kashmir administration that they may impose restrictions in the name of national interest, but it has to be reviewed from time to time.

A three-judge bench headed by Justice NV Ramana said, “How many days you want restrictions? You have to come with clear answers.”

Justice Subhash Reddy asked the government to review the restrictions daily. “The thing is you may impose restrictions in the national interest but you need to review it daily,” he added.

The bench, which was hearing a batch of petitions challenging the restrictions imposed in the state following the scrapping of its special status, was told by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta that they were reviewing restrictions on a daily basis.

“The restrictions are being reviewed daily. In around 99 per cent area, no restrictions are there,” Mehta, who was appearing for the state administration, told the top court.

The bench, also comprising R Subhash Reddy and B R Gavai, asked Mehta about the restriction on internet in the state. The solicitor general told the court that restrictions on internet was going on as the issue has “cross border implications.”

Almost 68 days after an unprecedented communication lockdown in Kashmir, post-paid mobile phone services, around 40 lakh in the Valley, was made operational on October 15.

Since August 16, the administration has been easing restrictions in a phased manner. Partial fixed-line telephone was resumed in the Valley on August 17 and by September 4, nearly 50,000 landlines were declared operational. In Jammu and Ladakh, mobile phones were made functional earlier.

The top court would hear the arguments on petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the abrogation of Article 370 revoking the special status for Jammu and Kashmir from November 14.