‘Political decision': Kapil Sibal slams Centre on Article 370 abrogation | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

‘Political decision': Kapil Sibal slams Centre on Article 370 abrogation

By | Written by Lingamgunta Nirmitha Rao
May 21, 2024 01:04 PM IST

In August 2019, the Centre made a historic yet to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution, which provided J&K with a special autonomous status.

Former Union Minister and Rajya Sabha MP Kapil Sibal referred to the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir as a "political decision," stating that it was unnecessary since 99 per cent of the laws in the region were already similar to those in the rest of India. Speaking at a book launch in the national capital, Sibal, according to news agency PTI, said, “After August 5, 2019, when Article 370 of the Constitution was abrogated, the die was cast.”

Rajya Sabha MP and senior advocate Kapil Sibal (Photo by Sanchit Khanna/ Hindustan Times)(Hindustan Times)
Rajya Sabha MP and senior advocate Kapil Sibal (Photo by Sanchit Khanna/ Hindustan Times)(Hindustan Times)

“Actually you did not need to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution for the simple reason that 99 per cent of the laws of India were already applicable in Kashmir, they were already in operation in Kashmir,” said the senior advocate who had presented arguments in the Supreme Court opposing the abolition of Article 370 provision granting special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

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“So there was no need to abrogate Article 370 but the reason why they abrogated Article 370 was nothing to do with laws, it is something to do with your political decision,” Sibal said.

"You (government) want to tell the people of this country 'See, we did it'," he added.

Sibal on assembly elections in J&K

Kapil Sibal further discussed conducting assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir, slamming the central government for never discussing it. "I remember our Home Minister (Amit Shah) saying, 'We will soon have elections in Kashmir when everything is stabilised.' That was in Parliament in 2019, and we are in 2024 down the road, and they don't talk about assembly elections at all," Sibal said.

He added that the government has to hold parliamentary elections because the Constitution enjoins them to do so. "But the fact of the matter is that they are Union territories, and if you want to bring back statehood, they have to have elections, and the consequence of elections we do not know," he said.

“The consequences of that nobody knows. Nobody wants to take that risk. So I feel they will not have elections; it will continue like this, and the only way elections will be held is if the results on June 4 are different,” Sibal said.

Article 370 aborgation

In August 2019, the Indian government made the historic yet contentious decision to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution. This article provided Jammu and Kashmir with special autonomous status, granting it authority over internal matters like its constitution and flag, albeit excluding defence, communications, and foreign affairs.

Led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, the central government decided on August 5, 2019, to revoke Jammu and Kashmir's special status under Article 370. Additionally, the state was divided into two union territories: Jammu and Kashmir, which retained a legislative assembly, and Ladakh, which was established as a union territory without a legislature.

On December 11 last year, a five-judge constitution bench of the Supreme Court upheld the decision, directing the holding of elections in the region by September 2024 and the restoration of statehood as soon as possible.

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