Gives liberty to petitioner to move SC
The Jammu Kashmir High Court Friday disposed of a petition seeking restoration of prepaid mobile phone connectivity and internet services in Kashmir on the ground that same petitions are pending before the Supreme Court.
The petition was filed in public interest by Chairman of Centre for Peace and Protection of Human Rights, M.M Shuja through counsel, Shafqat Nazir claiming that due to the prevailing situation in Jammu and Kashmir, particularly in Kashmir division, the communication blockage has given rise to number of social issues that require immediate intervention of the court.
The petitioner had submitted that these issues like treatment of cancer patients, supply of essential commodities, illegal constructions and encroachments, earth filling of wetlands, land conversion and pollution in water bodies and mobile and internet connectivity not only being non-political but also involve humanitarian aspect as well.
The petitioner had prayed that Government of India (GoI) and J&K government be directed to restore mobile phone and internet services in the valley with immediate effect.
He had also prayed that all mobile phone companies operating in J&K be directed to waive off mobile phone and broadband rent for months of August and September.
When the petition came up for consideration, the counsel representing Government of India Assistant Solicitor General of India, Tahir Majid Shamsi and counsel representing Union Territory of J&K, senior Additional Advocate General, B.A Dar unanimously submitted that a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court is already seized of the matter in numerous petitions on the subject raising similar grievances and involving more or less same prayers.
“Therefore, this petition before this Court need not be entertained,” the counsels submitted.
The division bench of Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey and Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur after hearing the counsels said the court can’t entertain this petition as the apex court is seized of the issues raised in this petition.
“We are of the view that this Court cannot entertain this petition and proceed to hear it which may result in parallel proceedings,” the bench held.
The bench disposed of the petition while giving liberty to the petitioner to approach the Supreme Court for the relief claimed in the petition.
With regard to the illegal constructions and encroachments, earth filling of wetlands, illegal land conversion and pollution in water bodies, the Court said these issues are already sub-judice before the court in various public litigations.