Communication Shutdown in Kashmir: Live Updates from Supreme court
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Communication Shutdown in Kashmir: Live Updates from Supreme court

Bar & Bench

The Supreme Court is presently in the midst of hearing a batch of petitions concerning the situation in Jammu and Kashmir following the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution.

The matters relate to restrictions imposed on the press and communications in Kashmir.

The pleas are being dealt with by a Bench of Justices NV Ramana, R Subhash Reddy, and BR Gavai.

Live Updates from today’s hearing follow

Anuradha Bhasin’s plea against communications restrictions imposed in Kashmir

  • Hearing in a plea by Anuradha Bhasin on communication shutdown in Kashmir continuing before court 3 of Supreme Court.
  • Vrinda Grover arguing for Bhasin. “Shutdown for 90 days is by no means a temporary measure”, Grover
  • The proviso to Section 5 should be construed harmoniously in favour of media, else it will not have any significance, Vrinda Grover.
  • As per their order, there is an apprehension of the likelihood of deterioration of law and order. To suspend all communications on such a ground is arbitrary. My case is law and order deterioration is not good ground for such a ban, Vrinda Grover.
  • Is national security not a good ground for such a ban, Bench asks Vrinda Grover.
  • As per the administration, the order has been passed on the ground of law and order and not the security of State. They are not apprehending a threat to the security of State, Vrinda Grover.
  • Vrinda Grover now advancing arguments on the doctrine of proportionality. The restrictions imposed in Kashmir are excessive and disproportionate, Grover submits placing reliance on Right to Privacy Judgment of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul.
  • Today the internet is an essential and basic attribute of freedom of press. It enables media to perform its role in a democracy. Any interference with that is violative of freedom of the press, Vrinda Grover.
  • Vrinda Grover also places reliance on Article 19 of ICCPR.
  • Vrinda Grover concludes her submissions.
  • Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal commences arguments.
  • Imposing restrictions cannot be justified on the ground of internal disturbance. Public order is exclusively in the domain of State govt, Kapil Sibal.
  • Public order is exclusively within the domain of State govt. There is no concept of the abrogation of fundamental right under Article 19, Sibal.
  • State cannot tell me that I cannot enter Jammu & Kashmir, Sibal.
  • State can tell me not to give a particular speech in a particular area due to communal tensions. They cannot say that I should not go out of my house, Sibal.
  • Lives of seven million people were paralysed in one stroke, Sibal.
  • Sibal asks how normal dissemination of news affects the security of State, public order or friendly relations with foreign states.
  • What State cannot do under Article 352 (of Constitution) cannot be done under Section 144 (of CrPC), Sibal.
  • They can regulate my rights but cannot destroy my rights. While restricting my rights, they are also obligated to protect my rights, Sibal.
  • Restrictions have been imposed before also. In Karnataka, the internet was suspended after misinformation was spread about people from north-east, Sibal.
  • State can arrest and detain people indulging in mischief. Restrictions should not be imposed on all 70 lakh people, Sibal.
  • Sibal citing order passed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi allowing to meet his colleague in Kashmir. What State is doing is people are being perceived as anti-nationals, Sibal.
  • Can this multi-State of 1.2 billion people be in danger from the cross border? No. This country is too big and too mighty for that, Sibal.
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