President had power to revoke Article 370, prior assembly nod not required: SC | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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President had power to revoke Article 370, prior Jammu and Kashmir assembly nod not required: SC

Dec 11, 2023 12:46 PM IST

Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, pronouncing the verdict of a five-judge bench, said the power of abrogation of Article 370 was for integration of J&K.

New Delhi: The President of India had the power to abrogate Article 370 without a prerequisite for a recommendation by the Jammu and Kashmir assembly, the Supreme Court of India observed on Monday while pronouncing a verdict on a clutch of petitions challenging the Central government's 2019 move.

The five-judge bench comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Sanjiv Khanna, BR Gavai and Surya Kant during pronouncement of verdict.(PTI)
The five-judge bench comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Sanjiv Khanna, BR Gavai and Surya Kant during pronouncement of verdict.(PTI)

Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, pronouncing the verdict of a five-judge bench, said the power of abrogation of Article 370 was for the integration of Jammu and Kashmir.

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"The President had the power to abrogate Article 370. A recommendation of the J&K constituent assembly prior to abrogation of Article370 wasn't necessary," he observed, upholding the legal validity of the Centre's decision to revoke Article 370.

"Can't sit in appeal over President's decision to abrogate Article 370 except in extraordinary circumstances...Can't hold the abrogation malafide," he added.

CJI Chandrachud said the President of India could have applied all provisions of the Constitution of India to Jammu and Kashmir with the concurrence of the Centre, and it was not binding on the President to obtain the concurrency of the assembly.

"Article 370 could have been modified only by resorting to the procedure under Article370. It could not have been done by taking recourse to Article 367. It's held to be ultra vires," he added.

Also read: Jammu and Kashmir surrendered sovereignty after India merger: Supreme Court on Article 370

The Supreme Court said it wouldn't go into the reorganization of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories because of the Centre's submission that it would restore its statehood. It, however, ordered the Election Commission to ensure assembly elections by September 2024.

"We hold the exercise of presidential power to issue constitutional order abrogating Article 370 of Constitution as valid," the CJI said.

He also said Jammu and Kashmir had foregone its sovereignty after it agreed to join the Union of India.

"J&K surrendered its complete sovereignty with the merger. J&K Constitution was only to further define it's relationship with India," he added.

He said Jammu and Kashmir didn't have any internal sovereignty and its constitution was "subordinate to the Constitution of India".

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