16 September 2019
New Delhi: Supreme Court Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi on Monday said he would personally visit Jammu and Kashmir, if required, after a petitioner said people there were not able to access courts for legal redressal of their grievances.
The top court also wanted the Jammu and Kashmir High Court to give a status report on the legal situation in J&K, where restrictions continue since August 4, even these are being eased gradually.
"If required, I will go and personally check. I will speak to the Chief Justice (of J&K High Court) today," Gogoi said.
He was responding when senior advocate Huzefa Ahmadi claimed that there are extreme difficulties in accessing the High Court in J&K.
The advocate was arguing for child rights activists Enakshi Ganguly & Shanta Sinha, who moved the apex court through a petition challenging the alleged "illegal detention" of children in Jammu and Kashmir following abolition of its special status granted under Article 370 and reorganization of the state.
The court observed that it is a serious concern if people are facing issues to access justice.
"You have made a statement that you cannot move the Jammu and Kashmir High Court. Is anybody coming in the way... Not being allowed to access the High Court is a serious concern," said the Chief Justice, replying to the advocate who contended that under the existing restrictions, it was not possible to move the High Court.
Gogoi also warned the lawyer that if the information placed before the apex court was found to be incorrect, then he would face consequences.
Meanwhile, the Central government told the top court that restrictions have been eased in most parts of Jammu and Kashmir and Jammu and Kashmir High Court and lower courts are operating normally.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said prohibitory orders under Section 144 of Jammu and Kashmir Code of Criminal Procedure have been relaxed in 88.57 per cent police stations of the Kashmir Division and 100 per cent in the Jammu and Ladakh divisions.