“What Kind Of Petition Is This,” Says Chief Justice On Article 370 Plea

New Delhi: 

A legal challenge to the centre’s decision to end special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 was adjourned by the Supreme Court today with Chief Justice of India saying the petition “has no meaning”. Petitioner ML Sharma, a lawyer-activist, has said he will file an amended petition.

“What kind of petition is this? What are you challenging, what are your pleadings,” Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi asked Mr Sharma.

“I read your petition for half an hour. I couldn’t understand it,” said the top judge.

Chief Justice Gogoi, along with Justices SA Bobde and SA Nazeer were heard Mr Sharma’s petition challenging the Article 370 move as well as another plea by the Kashmir Times editor seeking removal of restrictions on the media.

The Chief Justice noted that there were seven other petitions on the centre’s Article 370 move. One of these petitioners, Shakeel Shabeer, was told that his petition had yet to be verified by the Supreme Court registry. “Why did you file a defective petition in a matter like this? The registrar says there are six petitions. In serious Like this people are filing defective petitions.”

Adjourning the hearing, the Chief Justice said the court would take up the petition on media restrictions and “would like to give a little more time to the issue.”

Attorney General KK Venugopal told the court: “Kashmir times published from Jammu. We did not publish from Srinagar. Day by day the situation is improving in Jammu and Kashmir and curbs are being lifted gradually.”

Lawyer Vrinda Grover, arguing for the removal of restrictions, said: “The role of the press would help if people were informed about what’s happening. If land lines were open.”

The Chief Justice said: “Media says phone lines will be restored this evening. You can wait.”

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