Kashmir: TOP COURT’S 5-JUDGE CONSTITUTION BENCH TO HEAR PLEAS AGAINST ABROGATION OF ARTICLE 370 IN OCT

Kashmir: TOP COURT’S 5-JUDGE CONSTITUTION BENCH TO HEAR PLEAS AGAINST ABROGATION OF ARTICLE 370 IN OCT

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NEW DELHI, Aug 28 (Agencies): A Constitution Bench of 5 judges of the Supreme Court will hear the challenge to abrogation to Article 370.

A Bench of Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi and Justices SA Bobde and S Abdul Nazeer today heard at least eight petitions challenging the actions of the Union government and issued notice to the Central government.

This came despite stiff opposition by Attorney General KK Venugopal and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta.

AG KK Venugopal said that the matter is a very sensitive one.

“Anything that is said here is taken to the United Nations.”

Mehta also echoed the sentiments of AG saying,

“The matter has grave cross border implications.”

Both Attorney General and Solicitor General prayed that no official notice be issued and they will respond to Court’s queries.

CJI Ranjan Gogoi, however, said that the Bench will not change the order passed by it.

The Court also ordered that the matter will be heard in the first week of October.

The first petition in this regard was filed by advocate ML Sharma.

Subsequently, a Kashmiri lawyer, Shakir Shabir had approached the Supreme Court of India challenging the Presidential Order of August 5. It was his argument that amendment to Article 367 which resulted in the scrapping of Article 370 could not have been done in the manner in which it was done. It could have been done only by the Parliament.

Subsequently, two Lok Sabha MP, Mohammad Akbar Lone and Hasnain Masoodi belonging to the Jammu & Kashmir National Conference Party had approached the Supreme Court challenging the Presidential Order of August 5.

Further, retired Military Officers and bureaucrats have also filed a petition in the Supreme Court of India challenging the Presidential Orders.

Besides the above, notice has also been issued in a petition filed by Soayib Qureshi, a permanent resident of Jammu and Kashmir and a practising lawyer in the Supreme Court.

The first step to the removal of Article 370 came on August 5, when the Constitution (Application to Jammu & Kashmir) Order, 2019, was introduced to supersede the Constitution (Application to Jammu & Kashmir) Order, 1954. The 1954 Order had listed out provisions of the Constitution of India that would not apply to Jammu and Kashmir.

In its place, the 2019 Order introduced on Monday provided that all provisions of the Constitution of India will apply to the state of Jammu and Kashmir, with a few exceptions and modifications.

Though the power to abrogate or modify Article 370 was conferred with the President under clause (3) of the Article, there was a pre-condition to the same – concurrence by the Constituent Assembly of the State of Jammu & Kashmir. The Constituent Assembly had, however, ceased to exist as far back as in the 1950s.

In order to get over this hurdle, the Presidential Order under challenge here, had amended Article 367 to replace the reference to Constituent Assembly under Article 370(3) to mean Legislative Assembly.

Subsequently, the President had issued another order on August 6 making Article 370 redundant.

The Presidential Order of August 5 also paved the way for the introduction of the Jammu & Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019 which bifurcated the State of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories – Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir, and Union Territory of Ladakh.__Kashmir Times

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