SC verdict on J&K lockdown: 10 things to know

Representative image. (PTI Photo)

The Supreme Court on Friday delivered its verdict on a batch of pleas including that of Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad challenging the restrictions imposed in the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir following the abrogation of provisions of Article 370.

Here are 10 things to know from the Supreme Court's verdict:

1) The Supreme Court directed the Jammu and Kashmir administration to review forthwith all orders suspending the internet services in the valley within a week and put them in the public domain.

2) A five-judge bench headed by Justice N V Ramana asked the administration to restore internet services in institutions providing essential services like hospitals and educational places.

3) The apex court said that Section 144 of the CrPC (prohibitory orders) cannot be used as a tool to suppress difference of opinion.

4) On the internet lockdown in the valley, the Supreme Court said that the internet is a tool for freedom of speech and expression. It could not be restricted for an indefinite time. The apex court upheld the internet as an integral part of Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution.

5) The apex court further told the Centre that the internet suspension can only be temporary and is subjected to judicial review.

6) Justice Ramanna, while pronouncing the verdict, made it clear that the court would not delve into the political intent behind the internet restrictions in the valley.

7) The court directed the government to publish all future orders passed under Section 144 and orders suspending internet telecom services in the country.

8) The petitions were made by Congress leader, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anuradha Bhasin, Executive Editor of Kashmir Times, among few other interveners.

9) On November 21, the Centre had justified restrictions imposed in Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of provisions of Article 370 and said that due to the preventive steps taken, neither a single life was lost nor a single bullet fired.

10) The Centre while referring to terrorist violence in the Kashmir Valley said that for the past so many years terrorists were being pushed through from across the border, local militants and separatist organisation had held the civilians captive in the region and it would have been 'foolish' if the government would not have taken preventive steps to secure the lives of citizens.

Provisions of Article 370, which gave special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, were abrogated by the Centre on August 5 last year.

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