The Supreme Court today refused to entertain Robert Vadra’s relative Tehseen Poonawalla’s separate plea against communication blockade in Jammu & Kashmir. “What does he do? What are his antecedents? What is his link with J&K? Do you want us to ask all this?” CJI Ranjan Gogoi remarked. Poonawalla may now file an intervention plea.
A social activist and brother-in-law of Congress President Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra, Poonawalla had filed a plea in the Supreme Court and raised the issue of lockdown in the state following abrogation of Article 370 as amounting to ‘suspension of Article 19 (freedom of speech) and 21 (personal liberty) of the Constitution.
The SC also issued notice to the Centre on Executive Editor of Kashmir Times, Anuradha Bhasin’s petition and refused to pass any order today. The apex court said that the final hearing will take place on September 16.
Following the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, Anuradha Bhasin, had filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court of India challenging the freedom of the press in the state. The petition sought to allow the journalists in J&K to practice their profession in a free environment as restrictions through a blanket ban on the internet and telecommunication services hampered them from executing their duties. Besides, the restrictions on the movement of reporters and photojournalists also come in the way of reporting fairly from the state, the journalist had claimed.
Senior lawyer Vrinda Grover appearing for Bhasin said that an additional affidavit has been filed before the Court yesterday that the media still cannot be operated there. “The situation is not good there, in my opinion,” she said.
The Supreme Court also allowed Iltija Iqbal to meet her mother Mehbooba Mufti in Srinagar in private. The court, however, said that she can move in other parts of Srinagar and it would be subject to prior permission from authorities, if needed. CPI (M) leader Yousuf Tarigami will also be brought to AIIMS in New Delhi for better treatment.