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SC ruling will restore information flow from J&K: Congress

P. Chidambaram describes court order as a rebuff to the ‘arrogant stance of the Centre’

The Congress on Friday said that the Supreme Court’s ruling that dissent cannot be suppressed by imposition of prohibitory orders in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) had given a jolt to the Modi-led government.

Welcoming the judgment, former Union Law Minister Kapil Sibal termed the order ‘historic’ while former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said it was a “rebuff to the unconstitutional and arrogant stance of the Central government and the J&K administration on restrictions imposed there”.

Mr. Chidambaram also demanded that Goa Governor Satya Pal Malik step down from his position, owning up his actions as the former J&K Governor.

“The entire team in J&K that designed and executed the plan should be changed. A new set of administrators who respect the Constitution should be appointed. The former Governor of J&K, Mr. Satpal Malik, should own responsibility and resign from his present post of Governor, Goa,” Mr. Chidambaram said in a series of tweets.

At a press conference held at the Congress headquarters, Mr. Sibal said the top court’s observation that prohibitory orders under CrPC Section 144 cannot be used indefinitely to suppress freedom of speech and expression and difference of opinion was “path-breaking”.

“I would like to tell the Home Minister today to please listen to the voice of the people. Don’t just rain lathis (batons) on them,” Mr. Sibal said, adding that the top court’s order will restore free flow of information from the region.

“Why don’t you allow us to visit Jammu and Kashmir? Why do you not have faith in us or the people of India? If people from outside India have the right to visit Jammu and Kashmir, why not us? Do you consider us as perpetrators of violence?” the former Minister asked.

“I want to ask the Prime Minister: ‘Why do you have so much affection for foreigners and why not for the people of India? At least, you should be more transparent and open with the people of India’,” he added.

“SC delivers first big jolt of 2020 to illegal activities of Modi Govt by stating importance of Internet as a fundamental right. Double shock for Modi-Shah that dissent cannot be oppressed by imposing section 144. Modiji reminded that nation bows before Constitution and not him!” Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala said in a tweet.

“Modi-Shah now have a week to review Internet restrictions and place the reasons before the public. No more ‘sealed envelopes’ to hide the truth in,” he added in another tweet.

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Printable version | Mar 30, 2020 1:58:30 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/sc-ruling-will-restore-information-flow-from-jk-congress/article30537402.ece

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