Some people are bound to suffer when restrictions are placed to maintain peace and a curfew imposed, a Supreme Court bench observed Thursday.
The bench, headed by Justice NV Ramana, was responding to Congress leader Kapil Sibal’s argument against the communication blockade ordered in the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir ahead of the government’s move to scrap the Article 370 on August 5.
“There cannot be any doubt that in a situation like this, there will be difficulties for many. There are situations when people living in areas under curfew suffer. These problems will be there. Some people will suffer,” said Justice R Subhash Reddy.
The judge’s comment came on Sibal’s arguments on behalf of his party colleague Ghulam Nabi Azad, who has moved the court questioning the restrictions that the government has ordered in the Valley. Sibal insisted such restrictions are subject to judicial review.
He said the bar on allowing leaders to travel to J&K should have a relation to some material threat to life. The right to travel freely would include the right to enter and exit Kashmir freely, he said, questioning the provisions under which the government prohibited the use of landlines and mobile phones.
The senior Congress leader stressed that restrictions under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure were “constitutionally impermissible”.
He argued that everyone supported the government on the issue of terrorism, but the issue before the court is, “can the lives of seven million citizens be paralysed and their fundamental rights, instead of being restricted, be abrogated altogether?”