The Supreme Court on Monday allowed senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad to visit Jammu and Kashmir but said he cannot hold any political rally.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister can visit four districts, including Srinagar, Jammu, Baramulla, Anantnag — to meet people.

Senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi, on behalf of Azad, told the bench, also comprising Justices SA Bobde and S Abdul Nazeer that he wants to meet the people and inquire about their welfare. Singhvi said Azad had tried to visit the state thrice but was turned back from the airport.

In his plea, Azad has also sought permission from the top court to visit his family members and relatives.

In his petition before the top court, Azad has sought permission to check on social conditions after a clampdown was imposed by the authorities following the scrapping of the state’s special status.

Azad had filed a petition in the Supreme Court over the Kashmir issue which was heard on Monday. Azad had tried to visit the state but was sent back from the airport by authorities.