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news details
SC allows Azad to visit J-K after he undertakes not to hold any political rally, activity
9/16/2019 10:40:48 PM
Agencies
NEW DELHI, Sept 16: Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad was on Monday allowed by the Supreme Court to visit four districts in Jammu and Kashmir for assessing the impact on life of daily wagers due to the present situation prevailing after the abrogation of Article 370 provisions.
The top court noted Azad''s submission that he will not indulge in any political rally or political activity during his visit.
A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and justices S A Bobde and S Abdul Nazeer issued a notice to the Centre and the Jammu and Kashmir administration, and sought their response within two weeks on other issues raised in the petition.
The bench allowed Azad to visit Srinagar, Anantnag, Baramulla and Jammu districts of the state subject to any restrictions, if any.
"We permit the petitioner to go to Srinagar and visit the following districts, subject to restrictions, if any:-(i) Srinagar, (ii) Anantnag, (iii) Baramulla and (iv) Jammu.
"The petitioner has undertaken before the court on his own volition that he will not indulge in any political rally or political activity during his visit," the bench said.
"The visit will solely be concerned with making an assessment of the impact of the present situation on the life of the daily wage earners, if any," it said.
Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for the former chief minister said he is at present a Member of Parliament from the state and needs to meet the people.
There are reports that daily wagers involved in farming and working in apple orchards are facing serious problems and loss of livelihood due to the clampdown prevailing in the state, he said.
"I (Azad) am a six-time Member of Parliament and a former chief minister of the state. I as Member of Parliament can visit the whole of India but cannot visit my home state. I need to visit the people.
"I have a fundamental right to meet the people of my state and my constituency and know about their well-being," Singhvi said on behalf of Azad.
He said Azad had thrice tried to visit the state on August 8, 20 and 24, but was sent back from the airport itself.
There are no orders "prohibiting" Azad from entering the state. If there are no such orders, then under what under provisions can they deny him entry into his state, Singhvi said.
The bench told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for Jammu and Kashmir, that Azad wants to visit his home state and undertakes not to hold any political rally.
Mehta said that he has not been served any petition and needs two weeks to reply to the same.
Azad, who has filed the petition in his personal capacity, had said on Sunday that his move was "apolitical".
In his plea, Azad has also sought a nod from the top court to visit his family members and relatives.
In his petition before the top court, he has also sought permission to check on social conditions of the people after a clampdown was imposed by the authorities following the scrapping of the state''s special status.
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