HC grants week’s time for response on Jammu-Srinagar NH ban

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SRINAGAR: The High Court was today informed that the order with regard to bi-weekly restriction of civil transport on National Highway has been modified and the ban has been kept for once in a week as also the Government is holding a review meet on May 6 for further deliberations on the issue.

The Division Bench of Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey and Justice Tashi Rabstan while hearing a bunch of petitions on the issue challenging the ban order, observed to State counsel that despite various opportunities no reply has been filed in these petitions except in one and it is Government, which has to defend its action as ban order is issued by it.

DB reluctantly granted week’s time for filing of reply so that the matter be settled once for all. During the proceedings of the case, State counsel also informed the court that a petition regarding the same issue has been filed before the Supreme Court and notice has been issue to the said petition for filing of response.

He requested the DB that hearing to these petitions be deferred till outcome of petition pending before the Supreme Court. However, the court on perusal of SC order, the DB said there is no direction as such which prevents this court to proceed ahead in the matter.

During the proceedings of the case, senior counsel R A Jan representing in one of the petitions pleaded before the bench that a legal point has been raised in the petition as the Home Secretary who has issued the ban order has no power under the law to pass such an order placing restrictions on civilian movement.

It is noted that the Government vide Order bearing No. 353-Home (ISA) of 2019 dated: 03.04.2019 whereby two days every week viz. Sunday and Wednesday have been dedicated for movement of the security forces’ convoys, when there would be no civilian traffic on the NH 1A, from Baramulla through Srinagar, Qazigund, Jawahar Tunnel, Banihal and

Ramban till Udhampur from 4 am to 5 pm and the said order has been challenged in these separate petitions before the court.

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