NEW DELHI : The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to grant an urgent hearing to a plea challenging the validity of the Presidential order, which revoked provisions of Article 370 that granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

The court also refused an urgent hearing to a separate petition seeking withdrawal of restrictions on people’s movement in Jammu and Kashmir.

The first plea was filed by advocate M.L. Sharma before the division bench headed by N.V. Ramana and comprising Justice Ajay Rastogi. The matter was not mentioned before Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi since he is part of the five-judge Constitutional bench hearing the case of Ayodhya land dispute currently.

Sharma contended that Pakistan may approach the United Nations on this issue, to which Ramana replied: “Even if they go to UN, can it stop Parliament from passing a Constitutional amendment." Sharma further argued that the 5 August special order had superseded the 1954 order which granted special power and privileges to Jammu and Kashmir.

The bench refused early listing and said if there were no technical defects the case will take the regular course before the appropriate bench.

Sharma had moved SC on Tuesday challenging the amendments and seeking directions from the apex court to declare it “unconstitutional and void".

The second plea, which was refused for early hearing by the court, was filed by activist Tehseen Poonawalla, seeking directions to withdraw restrictions on people’s movement in the Kashmir valley.

The petition seeks for directions to the Central government to release political leaders kept under house arrest, to unblock internet services and to appoint a judicial commission to assess the ground situation in the restive state.

Advocate Suhail Malik pleaded on behalf of Poonawalla and sought immediate directions for withdrawing ‘curfew/restrictions’ and other alleged regressive measures, including blocking of phone lines, internet and news channels.He added that he is not expressing any opinion on Article 370 and the presidential order, but contended that the decision on restrictions of the government violates fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 19 and 21 of the Constitution.

The bench headed by Ramana said the PIL will be placed before the Chief Justice for appropriate orders.


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