CPI (M) General secretary Sitaram Yechury
CPI (M) General secretary Sitaram Yechury

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Centre to file its response on a petition filed by CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury, challenging detention of his party colleague Mohammed Yousuf Tarigami in Kashmir.

The Centre's response was sought by a three-judge bench, headed by Justice N.V. Ramana, which is hearing matters related to Kashmir, as referred to it by a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi.

The bench of Justices Ramana, B.R. Gavai, R. Subhash Reddy, which heard the matter for the first time on Tuesday, earlier in the day suggested to Yechury's counsel to approach the J&K High Court to pursue his matter.

However, later, it agreed to take up the matter after Yechury's advocate and senior counsel Raju Ramchandran pressed that the matter should be pursued by the top court as it challenged the validity of detention of his party colleague.

He also cited the top court last order where the bench of the Chief Justice has kept the matter open to hear the plea.

After Ramchandran's insistence, the bench agreed to consider the matter and directed the Centre to file its reply. It said the petition will come up in due course.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta informed the top court that Tarigami has filed a petition in the top court, challenging government decision to revoke Article 370 in J&K and said that nothing survives in Yechury's petition.

Meanwhile, the bench asked Yechury what he wanted, assuming that the detention was illegal.

Ramachandran responded that a declaration that Tarigami was detained illegally is enough and there is no need of any compensation.

However, during the hearing, the court observed that Jammu and Kashmir High Court is functioning well and petitioners, challenging restrictions imposed in the state, should approach the HC, instead of filing petitions directly in top court.

The court also said that everyone can approach the High Court, which is an additional advantage.

The court also opined that pursuing these matters will set a presumption that high court is not functioning properly, which is not correct.

Yechury had earlier gone to meet Tarigami in Srinagar and found that his movements were restricted and the latter's security vehicles had been withdrawn. He had later told the top court that Tarigami was suffering from various ailments but was not allowed to visit the hospital.

Thereafter, the court, on September 5, directed shifting of Tarigami to AIIMS.

On Tuesday, the bench directed National Conference member Sameer Kaul to approach Jammu and Kashmir High Court over his plea seeking relaxation of Internet service in hospitals.

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