The Supreme Court on Wednesday came down heavily on the central and Jammu and Kashmir governments and asked why they have failed to file replies in matters related to lockdown in Kashmir and curtailment of civil liberties.
Hearing a bunch of petitions, the Supreme Court asked the Jammu and Kashmir government why it has not filed its affidavit in response to the plea of Asifa Mubeen, who challenged the detention of her husband — an NRI– saying the matter pertains to the individual’s liberty.
In response, the Jammu and Kashmir government said the affidavit will be filed “within five minutes”.
Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta told the court that the delay in filing affidavit in the related matter is due to large number of interveners, who have come up on the issue. “I’m surrounded by interveners,” he told the court.
Pulling up the central government, the Supreme Court asked why it has failed to comply with the orders passed on detentions in Kashmir.
“You cannot take us for granted,” said the Supreme Court expressing its anguish at the delay in filing affidavits by the Centre and the Jammu and Kashmir government.
Senior advocate Huzefa Ahmadi, appearing for the petitioners, said if the governments don’t want to show the orders to the petitioners, they should at least show them to the court. “They have to justify every detention made in Kashmir,” he said.
The court pointedly asked the Solicitor General where are the orders based on which people were put under detention in Kashmir. The court directed the two governments to file their replies with copies of all detention orders.
Besides the detentions, the Supreme Court also asked the government to look into the complaints against mobile service providers in the Valley.
Some petitioners have told the court that even though mobile communications were suspended in Kashmir Valley for the past two months, mobile service providers are asking people to pay bills for this period.
The court asked the government to speak to service providers on this matter.
Appearing for the petitioners, senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi said, “Now mobile service providers are asking users to pay bills and are also refusing to restore phones. We want the government to tell service providers to restore connections.”
These matters will come up for hearing next on October 24.