SC allows Yechury to visit J&K to meet party colleague Tarigami

SC allows Yechury to visit J&K to meet party colleague Tarigami
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Mohammed Yousuf Tarigami and Sitaram Yechury
Highlights

The Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury to visit Jammu and Kashmir to meet his ailing party colleague Mohammed Yousuf Tarigami while brushing aside the Centre's claim that it might "endanger the situation" in the state.

New Delhi : The Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury to visit Jammu and Kashmir to meet his ailing party colleague Mohammed Yousuf Tarigami while brushing aside the Centre's claim that it might "endanger the situation" in the state.

"Why do you have any difficulty if a citizen of this country wants to go there and meet his friend and party colleague," a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who was opposing Yechury's visit.

"If a citizen wants to go to a part of his country, he is entitled to go," the bench, also comprising justices S A Bobde and S A Nazeer, said. The court said this after Mehta's contention that Yechury's visit might affect the prevailing situation in Jammu and Kashmir and the issue might become political. "This may endanger the situation. The situation is becoming normal there," Mehta told the bench, adding that the Left leader's proposed visit "appears to be political".

The apex court made it clear that Yechury was allowed to visit Jammu and Kashmir to meet his party colleague only as attention has been drawn to an interim application seeking orders from the court for bringing Tarigami to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, for better medical facilities.

The bench said if he was found to be "indulging in any other act of omission and commission, it will be construed to be a violation of this court order". Yechury's counsel told the top court that he was willing to give an undertaking that he would not indulge in any other activity other than meeting Tarigami and enquiring about his well-being.

Senior advocate Raju Ramachandran, appearing for the CPI (M) leader, said Tarigami was a four-time MLA and he had last spoken to Yechury over phone on August 4, during which he had indicated that his health condition was "poor". "I (Yechury) am the general secretary of the party. He (Tarigami) is a four-time MLA of our party. I am concerned about him," the senior lawyer said.

When the bench said it would allow Yechury to go to Jammu and Kashmir to meet Tarigami, Ramachandran said, "I (Yechury) had gone there earlier also. They (authorities) did not allow me to go out of the airport." To this, the bench said, "You go there. We will pass order. You go there and meet your friend, nothing else."

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