The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued a notice to the Centre asking it to respond to petitions on scrapping of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir as well as restrictions on media in the state.
The apex court, while hearing a batch of petitions against the Centre’s move, referred the matter to a five-judge Constitution bench. The bench will hear all pleas related to abrogation of Article 370 in the first week of October.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and Attorney General KK Venugopal argued against the issuing of notice to the Center, saying that the case was sensitive and the notice by the top court would have international “repercussions".
But the apex court declined the request.
The Supreme Court issued notice to the Centre on a plea by Kashmir Times Executive Editor, Anuradha Bhasin, seeking a direction for relaxing restrictions on internet, landline, and other communication channels. The SC has sought a detailed response from the central government within seven days.
In other related orders, the apex court bench, comprising Justices S A Bobde and S Abdul Nazeer, allowed CPM leader Sitaram Yechury to visit J&K and meet his party leader and former MLA, Yousuf Tarigami.
Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, while passing the order said, "We will permit you to go, you are the general secretary of a party. Don't go for anything else." The apex court asked Yechury to limit his visit to Tarigami as a friend, and not use it for any political purpose.
The bench headed by Gogoi also allowed a Kashmiri student — Mohammad Aleem Sayeed — to travel to the embattled state to meet his parents, asking him to file an affidavit after his return.
The Supreme Court, meanwhile, refused a request to appoint an interlocutor for Jammu & Kashmir.
The government earlier this month scrapped Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, and bifurcated the state into two Union Territories — J&K and Ladakh.
Pretika Khanna contributed to this story.