HC seeks response on restrictions

Excelsior Correspondent
Srinagar, Apr 19: The High Court today sought response to the directions passed by Divisional Commissioner Kashmir in view of bi-weekly restriction of civil transport on National Highway within four days.
The Division Bench of Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey and Justice Tashi Rabstan directed the State counsel to submit the response with regard to the directions passed by the Divisional Commissioner for smooth traffic of essential services as provided in the minutes of meeting held by the Divisional Commissioner on restricted days.
Hearing a bunch of petitions on the ban issue, court during the proceedings was informed by various lawyers that the directions issued by the Divisional Commissioner are only limited to the papers and not implemented on ground as none as mentioned in the minutes of meetings, is being allowed to move on the highway on restricted days.
Court has been informed that a cancer patient has not been allowed to move on the highway and even a Magistrate has been thrashed by the security forces and not allowed to move for official duty.
Refuting all these submissions made by the counsels appearing in various PIL including those filed by general secretary of National Conference Ali Mohammad Sagar, PDP’s senior leader Nayeem Akhter and IAS topper turned politician Shah Faisal, the State counsel submitted before the DB that all these allegations are baseless and false as the directions passed by the Divisional Commissioner for smooth traffic movement of essential services are being implemented in letter and spirit.
He submitted before the court that all these PILs are not public interest but are in political interest as most of the petitioners in these PILs are famous politicians and have moved to court to gain their personal interests.
State counsel informed the court that in these minutes of meeting and the order passed on 9th of this month, care has been taken of various sections about the movement on highway during two dedicated days for movement of convoy.
The Divisional Commissioner Kashmir has convened a meeting for regulation of civil traffic movement during movement of security force convoys on the National Highway in view of Government order dated 3.4.2019 which provides restrictions on 2 days in every week for smooth movement of convoy.
The said meeting was attended by top Police officials, Transport and various Deputy Commissioners and after thoughtful deliberations and thorough discussions it was decided and directed that every Deputy Commissioner shall nominate a Nodal Officer at district level whose number shall be duly publicized as to who will issue travel passes after making sufficient verification.
It has been directed that in case of medical emergencies the ambulances carrying patients with proper medical prescriptions should be allowed after proper checking.
The Deputy Commissioners are under direction to prepare a list of schools which are located along side the National Highway and issue necessary instructions to Zonal Magistrates and police officers to allow school buses ferrying students having proper I-cards on NH-44 on days of restrictions.
In continuations to this, the Additional Commissioner Kashmir issued an order today mentioning Lawyers/Advocates of High Court and other courts shall also be exempted from the restrictions and their I-cards treated as travel passes.
Authorities have been directed to keep all medical emergencies beyond the restrictions enumerated in the order and the medical prescriptions shall be treated as travel passes by the implementing agencies.
Court today also sought compliance of one of the directions passed on April 9 in which it was directed by the court that it shall be ensured that no difficulty is caused to any commuter or common person who is seeking to move on the highway to reach his place of business or work.
It is noted that the Government vide Order bearing No. 353-Home (ISA) of 2019 dated: 03.04.2019 whereby two days every week (Sunday and
Wednesday) have been dedicated for movement of the security forces’ convoys, when there would be no civilian traffic on the NH-44, 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.