J&K Administration Revokes Public Safety Act Against 26 Detainees

The Jammu and Kashmir home department has revoked the stringent Public Safety Act against 26 people who are lodged in various jails in the newly-carved out union territory, officials said on Friday, 10 January.

Earlier, the Supreme Court asked the J&K administration to review within a week all orders imposing curbs in the Union Territory, while holding that access to Internet is a fundamental right under Article 19 of the Constitution.

A five-judge bench headed by Justice N V Ramana also asked the J&K administration to restore Internet services in institutions providing essential services like hospitals and educational places.

  • Broadband internet services were restored in 80 government hospitals and nursing homes in Kashmir on Thursday, 2 January
  • The Supreme Court had also heard petitions filed by Anuradha Bhasin, Executive Editor of Kashmir Times, and few intervenors questioning restrictions in the Valley
  • Internet has been shut in Jammu and Kashmir since the abrogation of Article 370, on 5 August 2019

Also Read: Can’t Suspend Internet Indefinitely: SC On J&K’s 158-Day Shutdown

Public Safety Act Against 26 People in J&K Revoked

The Jammu and Kashmir home department has revoked the stringent Public Safety Act against 26 people who are lodged in various jails in the newly-carved out union territory, officials said on Friday, 10 January, according to PTI.

This is seen as an attempt by the union territory administration to ease the situation in the region.

These people were picked up and booked under the PSA after the Centre's decision on 5 August last year to revoke special status of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcate it into two union territories.

Congress Addresses Media on SC Verdict on Kashmir Lockdown

'SC Verdict Tells Govt They Can't Shut Down Everything'

Senior lawyer Sanjay Hegde said that the SC judgment is a “balanced one in proportionality.”

"“It basically tells the government that under the garb of national security, you cannot shut down everything. The restrictions, if any, should be minimal and proportionate. They should be justifiable by objective standards. Especially, with regard to the freedom of internet. Routine internet shut down will now become subject to challenge.”" - Sanjay Hegde, Senior Lawyer

Double Shock For Modi-Shah: Cong After SC Verdict on Kashmir Lockdown

The Congress on Friday said the Supreme Court has given a big jolt to the Modi government's "illegal activities" by ruling that access to the internet is a fundamental right and that dissent cannot be oppressed by imposition of prohibitory orders.

"SC delivers first big jolt of 2020 to illegal activities of Modi Govt by stating importance of internet as a fundamental right. Double shock for Modi-Shah that dissent cannot be oppressed by imposing section 144. Modiji reminded that nation bows before Constitution and not him!" Surjewala said in a tweet.

SC Order A Balance Between Security, Liberty: Lawyer Vrinda Grover

Lawyer Vrinda Grover said that the Supreme Court verdict was “significant” as the apex court’s order struck balance between “security and liberty.”

“A very significant pronouncement today. How to strike a balance between security & liberty. SC recognized internet as a fundamental right. All orders will be published & placed before the review committee,” said Grover.

SC Orders Govt to Review All Restrictive Orders in 7 Days

The Supreme Court ordered government to review within seven days all orders directing suspension of internet services and orders restoration of all government and local body websites where “internet abuse” is minimal.

The apex court also ordered the Centre to publish all orders under Section 144 imposing restrictions.

SC Orders Centre to Publish All Orders Under Section 144

The apex court orders that Centre publish all orders of the Govt under 144 imposing restrictions, including curbing of internet.

Indefinite Internet Suspension Impermissible: SC on J&K Lockdown

The Supreme Court ordered the suspension of internet should be reviewed forthwith and that such suspension can be only “for a limited time period.” It is also subject to judicial review, Justice Ramana said, reading the judgment.

The court also said that internet suspension “without any particular duration and indefinitely” is a violation of Telecom Rules.

Free Speech Through Internet is Fundamental Right: SC on Kashmir Lockdown

Reading the judgment, Justice Ramana said that free speech through internet fundamental right under Article 19. “An order to suspend internet for indefinite period is not permissible,” he added.

"“Expression through internet has gained contemporary relevance and is part of freedom of expression under article 19. Therefore any restrictions must subscribe to conditions laid down in Article 19.”" - Justice Ramana

Justice Ramana Begins Reading Judgment

Justice NV Ramana reads out a passage from the classic 'Tale of two cities' before pronouncing the judgement.

Justice Ramana says history of Kashmir has seen a lot of violence.

“Our limited concern is to find a balance regarding security and liberty of people. We only here to ensure citizens are provided their rights. We will not delve into the political intent behind the orders given,” said Ramana.

SC to Deliver Verdict Shortly

The Supreme Court bench of Justices NV Ramana, R Subhash Reddy and BR Gavai will pronounce its judgment today at 10.30 in the petitions challenging the internet and communication shutdown in Kashmir.

SC to Deliver Verdict on Constitutional Validity of Kashmir Lockdown on 10 Jan

The Supreme Court is scheduled to deliver on Friday, 10 January, 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 abrogation of provisions of Article 370.

A bench of Justice NV Ramana, Justice R Subhash Reddy and Justice B R Gavai had reserved the judgment on 27 November last year.

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