SC refuses urgent hearing on plea against Article 370

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The convict has sought a direction restraining the authorities from executing the death penalty, which has been scheduled for February 1.

The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to accord urgent hearing to a plea filed by a Congress activist against the government’s decision to allegedly impose restrictions and other regressive measures in Jammu and Kashmir after revoking provisions of Article 370.

A bench headed by Justice N V Ramana said the petition will come up for hearing in due course.

Advocate Suhail Malik, appearing for activist Tehseen Poonawalla, said he is not expressing any opinion on Article 370 but has sought withdrawal of “curfew/restrictions” and other alleged regressive measures including blocking of phone lines, Internet and news channels. He said people need to talk to their family members and have a right to know about their well-being in a situation prevailing there.

Also read: Karan Singh, the last prince of J&K, backs Centre on Article 370

Poonawalla, in his plea, also sought a direction from the apex court for the release of leaders like former chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, who are under detention. The Congress activist has also sought the setting up of a judicial commission to inquire into ground realities in the state. He has contended that the decisions that have been taken by the government violate fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 19 and 21 of the Constitution.

Many political workers and leaders, including Abdullah and Mufti, have been detained in Jammu and Kashmir since the Centre decided to revoke provisions of Article 370 and divide the state into two union territories, officials said.

Parliament on Tuesday approved a resolution abrogating special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution and a bill for splitting the state into two union territories.

The resolution and the bill were approved by the Rajya Sabha on Monday.

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