Special Bench of Supreme Court to hear petitions on Article 370, Kashmir Lockdown, Justice Akil Kureshi

Special Bench of Supreme Court to hear petitions on Article 370, Kashmir Lockdown, Justice Akil Kureshi

Murali Krishnan

A three-judge Bench of the Supreme Court will hear three important cases on Friday this week.

The following are the three cases which will be heard by a Bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices SA Bobde and S Abdul Nazeer.

Petition by ML Sharma challenging the Presidential order on Article 370

This petition challenges the Presidential order of August 5 by which Article 367 was amended thereby making Article 370 redundant.

ML Sharma
ML Sharma

The Presidential Order also paved the way for the introduction of the Jammu & Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019 which bifurcated the State of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories – Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir, and Union Territory of Ladakh.

Petitioner, advocate ML Sharma, had mentioned the matter before Justice NV Ramana last week seeking urgent listing but the same had been turned down.

Petition seeking lifting of restrictions on communication services and movement in Jammu and Kashmir

The plea moved by Anuradha Bhasin, Executive Editor of the Kashmir Times newspaper highlights the shutdown of internet and telecommunication, the severe restrictions on mobility, at a time when significant political and constitutional changes are being forged by the Parliament to the status of Jammu and Kashmir. This the petitioner has contended violates the freedom of speech and expression under Article 19, the right of the public to information and the right to practice one’s profession.

Contending that the continuing restrictions are “excessive, disproportionate and gross abuse of State power” the plea calls on the Supreme Court to issue directions to the Government to “immediately relax all restrictions on mobile, internet and landline services in Jammu and Kashmir and the strict restrictions on freedom of movement in order to enable journalists to practise their profession and exercise their right to report.”

The petition was mentioned on August 13 before Justice Arun Mishra for urgent listing. Justice Mishra had directed the lawyer to give the details of the petition to the Registrar.

Petition seeking appointment of Justice Akil Kureshi as Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court

The petition has been filed by Gujarat High Court Advocates Association (GHCAA) taking objection to the Central government’s reluctance to appoint Justice Akil Kureshi as Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court.

In May this year, the Supreme Court Collegium had recommended that Justice Kureshi be appointed as Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court.

Various other recommendations made by the Collegium after that were approved by the Centre except that of Justice Akil Kureshi.

The GHCAA has prayed that a direction be issued to the Central government to implement the Collegium resolution of May 10, 2019.

Justice Akil Kureshi
Justice Akil Kureshi

When the matter was heard on August 2, the Central government had told the Supreme Court that it will take a decision on the file relating to Justice Kureshi after the ongoing Parliament session ends.

The Court had, therefore, kept the matter pending on the judicial side, and asked the Centre to take a decision before August 14.

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