The J&K High Court has sought a response from government on tomorrow on petitions against the closure of two days a week of the highway from Baramulla to Udhampur.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice Geeta Mital and Justice Tashi Rabastan issued the notice which was accepted by senior additional advocate general to the government. “The government was directed to come with alternate arrangements and other suggestions by tomorrow.”
The petitions have been filed by a lawyer, Mir Shafaqat Nazir, and Shah Faesal, the former IAS officer who floated a political party earlier this year and both are seeking directions to quash the state home department’s April 3 order.
“The (Principal Secretary to government), Home Department, Civil Secretariat has issued an arbitrary and capricious order dated 03.04.2019 in terms whereof two dedicated days in a week viz. Wednesday and Sunday have been kept for movement of security forces’ convoys, when there would be no civilian traffic on highway from Baramulla through Srinagar, Qazigund, Jawahar Tunnel, Banihal to Ramban till Udhampur from 4.00 A.M. to 5.00 P.M,” Shafaqat submits in the petition.
“The order is illegal and unconstitutional having been issued in violation of the rights guaranteed to the petitioner under Article 14, 19 and 21 of the constitution,” he said.
Shafaqat told GNS that under Section 144 CrPC, only an executive magistrate can place restrictions on the movement of people in urgent cases of apprehended danger etc.
“(Principal Secretary to government, Home) has no power or authority to pass an order placing restrictions over the movement of people. The impugned order is as such, non est in the eyes of law and deserves to be quashed,” he said.
Dr. Shah Faesal has termed the ban as a violation of fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 19 and 21 of Indian constitution.
The Faesal’s PIL is argued by advocates Tasaduk Khuwaja and senior council of Supreme Court advocate Ehsan Javed along with some other advocates.