Five-judge Constitution bench to hear challenge to Article 370 abrogation, J&K bifurcation

The bench of CJI Ranjan Gogoi, Justice S A Bobde and Abdul Nazeer said that issued notice in the matters while fixing the first week of October to hear it. The court also sought a response from the Centre and Jammu and Kashmir administration.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday referred the petitions challenging the validity of the abrogation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcation of the state into two Union Territories to a five-judge Constitution Bench.

The bench of CJI Ranjan Gogoi, Justice S A Bobde and Abdul Nazeer said that issued notice in the matters while fixing the first week of October to hear it. The court also sought a response from the Centre and Jammu and Kashmir administration.

“We will refer the matter to a five-judge Constitution bench”, the bench said while not accepting the arguments that the issuance of notice will have a “cross-border repercussion”.

“Notice is issued for the purpose of intimating parties to be present for the hearing. We are already here”, said Mehta, adding that “it had repercussions in other countries”. Ramachandran wondered how the court issuing notice in the normal course “can embarrass anyone”.

Mehta replied that it “doesn’t embarrass anyone, but other countries are taking advantage”. Attorney General K K Venugopal also urged the court not to issue a notice saying “this is a very serious issue”.

As the counsel appearing for both sides were involved in arguments and counter-arguments, the bench said, “We know what to do, we have passed the order, we are not going to change”.

National Conference leaders, IAS officer-turned-politician Shah Faesal, activist Shehla Rashid, Advocate M L Sharma and a Kashmiri lawyer are among the petitioners that have challenged the Centre’s August 5 decision to scrap Article 370.

SC on communication blackout in Kashmir

The bench also issued notice on the petition by Kashmir Times Executive Editor Anuradha Bhasin challenging what she claimed was the “communication blackout” in J&K.

Allows Yechury to travel to JK

The court also allowed CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury to visit Jammu and Kashmir to enquire about colleague Mohammed Yousuf Tarigami’s health.  To Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submission that Tarigami was a person who had Z category security and was “not the kind of person who would go missing”, the CJI said “whether it’s Z or Z plus, if a citizen wants to visit a part of the country, he must have access to”.

The court, however, told Senior Counsel Raju Ramachandran who appeared for Yechury that the visit shall not be used for any other purpose except to enquire about Tarigami’s health. The bench also asked the state to facilitate the travel.

The bench also allowed a student of Jamia Millia University who had moved the court saying he had not been able to see his parents to visit Anantnag to see them. It also asked the state to make arrangements for this.

Jammu and Kashmir has been under lockdown since August 4 after the government snapped mobile lines, internet connections and cable TVs. On August 5, a Presidential Order revoked provisions of Article 370, which granted special status to J&K. Three days later, Parliament ratified this decision and passed the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, 2019, which bifurcates the state into two Union Territories — Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. Curbs have been lifted in many parts of the state, the government says.

Source: The Indian Express

LEAVE A REPLY