SC’s registrar to consider urgent hearing of plea

P L Uniyal. Dated: 8/14/2019 11:21:23 AM

Restrictions on journalists in Kashmir

NEW DELHI, Aug 13: Supreme Court today said that its Registrar would consider an urgent listing of a plea challenging the restriction on working journalists in the Kashmir valley in the wake of the revocation of Article 370.
The apex court asked advocate Vrinda Grover to give details of petition to Registrar to examine the matter for listing the petition for hearing.
The plea was filed by Anuradha Bhasin, the Executive Editor of Kashmir Times on August 9, seeking directions to ensure that the State creates an enabling environment for journalists and all other media personnel in all parts of Jammu and Kashmir to practise their profession. Grover, who appeared on behalf of the petitioner, had sought an urgent hearing on the plea.
The matter was accordingly mentioned before a bench led by Justice Arun Mishra. The petition demands that debilitating restrictions imposed through the complete shutdown on internet and telecommunication services and severe curbs on the movement of photo-journalists and reporters, be immediately relaxed in order to ensure the freedom of the press and media.
The petitioner- represented by her lawyers Vrinda Grover, Soutik Banerjee, Prasanna S and Ratna Appnender- added that she has not been “able to print and publish the Kashmir edition of Kashmir Times as the absolute restrictions on all communication services and movement has resulted in the imposition of a virtual blackout on media activities, including reporting and publishing on the situation in Kashmir.” “This comes at a time when significant political and constitutional changes are being undertaken in Delhi regarding the status of Jammu and Kashmir. The blackout on information is fuelling anxiety, panic, alarm, insecurity and fear among the residents of the Kashmir. This petition has been filed as information blackout set in motion is a direct and grave violation of the right of the people to know about the decisions that directly impact their lives and their future,” the petitioner remarked.
The petitioner also sought directions to the Jammu and Kashmir government to relax restrictions to allow free reporting on the prevailing situation in the state after the clampdown of August 4. The petition states that such restrictions curb the rights of journalists given under Articles 14 and 19 of the Constitution of India and the right to know the conditions of residents of Kashmir Valley.



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