Article 370: Supreme Court frets over filing of defective petitions :17-08-2019

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to examine the petitions against scrapping of Article 370 of the Constitution, saying the pleas filed on the “serious issue” suffer from defects.

A Bench led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi pulled up advocate ML Sharma, the first petitioner on the issue, saying his petition has “no meaning”. He said that he spent 30 minutes reading the petition, but could not make out anything.

“What kind of petition is this? It could have been dismissed, but there are five other pleas with the registry which are under defect,” the Gogoi-led bench said.

“You are not praying for setting aside the Presidential order. What is the prayer… it is not clear. What are you challenging, what are your pleadings? It can be dismissed on technical grounds. In a matter of this nature if this is the petition, there is no meaning,” the bench said.

The CJI, however, said that he does not want to dismiss the petition by Sharma since it might adversely affect other petitions. “We accommodate you in between Ayodhya hearing and this is what we get,” the CJI remarked, while granting permission to the petitioners to cure defects/amend their petitions.

The Bench also heard another plea by the Kashmir Times executive editor Anuradha Bhasin seeking removal of restrictions on the media.

Gogoi said the court would take up the petition on media restrictions, but “would like to give a little more time to the issue.” “Media says phone lines will be restored this evening. You can wait,”the CJI told counsel Vrinda Grover, who said that “the role of the press would help if people were informed about what’s happening… If land lines were open.”

Attorney General KK Venugopal told the court that the situation is day by day improving in J&K and curbs are being lifted gradually.” He also said that the Kashmir Times was being published from Jammu and not from Srinagar. “I want to know why they are not publishing it from Srinagar. We have not restricted anyone,” the AG, questioned Bhasin’s claim that she is not able to publish the paper.

The Chief Justice noted that there were seven other petitions on the issue. One of these petitioners, Shakeel Shabeer, a resident of Jammu and Kashmir, 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… You file a defective petition and trouble my officers,” the CJI said.

Shabeer said he had cured the defects but the petition was not listed.

The bench said the defects were cured on Wednesday evening and Thursday was a holiday. Then how did he expect the listing of his petition on Friday?

The SC, however, adjourned the matter saying the next date of hearing will be decided on the administrative side.

The National Conference, a political party in Jammu and Kashmir, through Lok Sabha members Mohammad AKbar Lone and Justice (rtd) Hasnain Masoodi, has also filed a petition challenging the changes made in the constitutional status of J-K. They said these changed had taken away rights of its citizens without their mandate.

Source : Mint