Supreme Court allows SMS curbs in Jammu region

August 5th, 2008 - 8:58 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 5 (IANS) The Supreme Court Tuesday allowed the Jammu and Kashmir government to curb the circulation of inflammatory and communal SMSes in the Jammu region, overruling the Jammu and Kashmir High Court’s order. The region has been witnessing violent protests against the state government’s decision to cancel allotment of 40 hectares of forest land to the Amarnath shrine management for pilgrim facilities.

A bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan allowed the state government to curb the circulation of such messages till Aug 18. The high court order Monday suspended the government measures for the purpose.

The apex court bench also overturned the high court’s order to the state authorities to treat identity cards of press personnel as curfew passes and allow them to travel without any restrictions in the curfew-bound city to gather news.

The bench, which also included Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice J.M. Panchal, asked the media personnel to approach the district administration and seek proper curfew passes for them to perform their professional duties.

The apex court also temporarily ratified the state government’s order, banning two regional television channels in the state - Jammu and Kashmir channel and Take 1 channel - from telecasting their news on the grounds that they happened to be provocative and spread communal passion in the violence-hit city.

The apex court issued these orders on a lawsuit by the state government challenging a high court order.

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