The Supreme Court on Thursday adjourned till November 5 the hearing of petitions challenging communication blockade and lockdown measures imposed in Jammu and Kashmir in the wake of the abrogation of the state's special status on August 5.
Justice Ramana, heading the bench, orally asked Solicitor General how long the restrictions will continue.
"How many day will the restrictions continue? You have to give a clear reply", Justice Ramana asked SG Tushar Mehta.
Justice Reddy observed that regular review of the restrictions should be in place.
The Solicitor General in reply told the bench that "99% of the region is free from restrictions".
This was disputed by Advocate Vrinda Grover, counsel for the petitioner, who pointed out that internet was still blocked in the region.
The Solicitor General at this juncture submitted that the petitioners had not raised any objection when similar shutdowns were imposed in 2016. The internet shutdown was necessary in view of the "cross border implications" of the issue, added the SG.
The Court was considering the petitions filed by Enakshi Ganguly (alleging detention of minors), Anuradha Bhasin (against communication blockad) and Congress Rajya Sabha MP Ghulam Nabi Azad. These petitions will be considered on November 5 at 2 PM.
On the previous date of hearing - October 16 - the Solicitor General had claimed privilege over the orders imposing restrictions in the region, when the bench sought the production of the same. At the same time, he stated that those orders could be produced before the court.
"if for any reason, learned Solicitor General does not want to give a copy of those orders to the petitioners, we request him to file an affidavit indicating the reasons for claiming such privilege". the bench had ordered then.
On September 16, a bench headed by CJI Gogoi had urged the Centre to make every effort to restore normalcy in J&K, keeping national security interest in mind.