New Delhi, January 9: A three-member Supreme Court bench, which has heard a clutch of petitions challenging the legality of communication blockade imposed by the Centre in Jammu & Kashmir, will pronounce its verdict tomorrow. As per the schedule listed on the judiciary's website, the judgment will be declared by the apex court at 10:30 am on Friday. Envoys Visit to Jammu & Kashmir: MEA Cites 'Size Constraints' For Not Including EU Ambassadors as Part of Delegation.
The bench, which heard the pleas on Kashmir, includes Justices NV Ramana, Subhash Reddy and BR Gavai. The apex court is keenly awaited by over 8 million residents of the Valley, who have been unable to access internet since August 5, 2019. In Jammu region as well, the internet access has been restricted to broadband connections.
SC Verdict on J&K Internet Clampdown Tomorrow
Supreme Court to pronounce its judgment tomorrow on the batch of petitions challenging the validity of the restrictions and communication lockdown imposed in Kashmir since August 2019.#SupremeCourt #Kashmir pic.twitter.com/Ua22eC0XJS
— Bar & Bench (@barandbench) January 9, 2020
The top verdict on the communication restrictions in Jammu & Kashmir comes amid an official visit of a foreign delegation to the frontier union territory. The Centre has organised a tour of envoys from 15 nations, including the United States, to allow them to gauge the ground realities of J&K and how the revocation of the region's semi-autonomous status has aided the administration.
The restrictions in J&K, which critics have described as "crippling", were imposed hours after before the Centre had, in August last year, issued a presidential order to abrogate Article 370. While a blanket lockdown was imposed for the first 40 days, telephone lines were re-connected in mid-September. Postpaid mobile phones were also allowed to operation from early October, whereas, SMS services were resumed from January 1. Internet connections, however, continue to remain blocked.