STATE TIMES NEWSJAMMU: Justice Rajesh Bindal of J&K High Court Jammu Wing on Friday issued notices to State of Jammu and Kashmir through Principal Secretary, Department of Home, Civil Secretariat, Srinagar, Chief Electoral Officer, J&K, Srinagar, Director General of Police, J&K State, Srinagar, District Magistrate, Jammu, Senior Superintendent of Police, District Jammu and Superintendent of Police Jammu (South), Jammu, in a petition filed by Ghulam Ahmed Mir President J&K Pradesh Congress Committee seeking directions for the respondents to remove unreasonable restrictions imposed on the petitioner by the State restricting the right of free mobility, speech and expression of the petitioner in the nature of house arrest and further allowing the petitioner to perform his political responsibilities as President JKPCC. The court issued aforesaid notices after hearing Advocates K.K Pangotra and Shah Mohammad Choudhary. During the course of hearing Advocate appearing for Mir submitted that pursuant to Presidential Order issued by the President of India, abrogating Article 370 of Constitution of India as applicable to State of J&K, the petitioner on August 16, 2019 was house arrested, his movements were restricted /curtailed by the State Government without any formal order, justification and reasonableness. “Since then the petitioner is under house arrest and is not allowed to move out of his residential house and even not to meet any person including the leaders and workers of Congress Party in view of imposition of unreasonable, arbitrary and unconstitutional restrictions referred hereinabove”, the counsel of Mir submitted. It was further submitted that on October 1, 2019, the Chief Election Commissioner has issued a notification under Rule 102-A of the Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj Rules, 1996, calling upon elected members of all the Halqa Panchayats of blocks to elect the Chairperson of the Block Development Councils and has announced the schedule for elections in the State. It was also submitted that the petitioner is not being allowed by the respondents to move to Kashmir Valley for making selection/nomination of candidates belonging to Congress Party for ensuing BDC elections in the State in consultation with the other senior functionaries of the party. It was submitted that other senior leaders of party including Saif-Ud-Din Soz (former Union Minister and PCC President), Peerzada Mohd. Syed (former PCC President & Cabinet Minister), Taj Mohi-Ud-Din (former Cabinet Minister), Haji Abdul Rashid Dar, Usman Majeed, Mohd. Ameen Bhat and Gulzar Ahmad Wani (all ex-MLAs) and dozens of other leaders have also been detained in their respective houses. It was further submitted that the participation of people particularly their elected representatives in the election is the basic essence of democracy and without participation of people, the democracy is nothing but a farce and due to restrictions imposed by the State on petitioner and other senior party functionaries mentioned hereinabove, the participation of the INC candidates in the aforesaid election has virtually been made impossible by the State.
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