SC to deliver verdict on pleas challenging abrogation of Article 370 on Dec 11 | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Supreme Court to deliver verdict on pleas challenging abrogation of Article 370 on December 11

Dec 07, 2023 10:31 PM IST

Supreme Court to deliver verdict on pleas challenging abrogation of Article 370 on December 11

The Supreme Court will deliver its verdict on December 11 on pleas challenging the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution which gave special privileges to Jammu and Kashmir. A constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud, had reserved its judgment on September 5 on a clutch of petitions challenging the central government's move that saw the abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of the state into two union territories.

Supreme Court to deliver verdict on pleas challenging abrogation of Article 370 on December 11.
Supreme Court to deliver verdict on pleas challenging abrogation of Article 370 on December 11.

The five-judge bench also comprised justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Sanjiv Khanna, Bhushan R Gavai and Surya Kant.

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The petitioners argued that Article 370 had acquired a permanent character after the dissolution of the Jammu and Kashmir Constituent Assembly in 1957, following the framing of the State Constitution. Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing one of the petitioners, emphasized that Article 368, which pertains to Parliament's power to amend the Constitution, did not apply to Article 370, raising critical questions about the constitutionality of the abrogation process.

The government, represented by Attorney-General R. Venkataramani, Solicitor-General Tushar Mehta, and advocate Kanu Agrawal, contended that the provision was always meant to be temporary and that its abrogation was the ultimate step towards complete integration of J&K with the Union of India.

The respondents also highlighted the positive outcomes since the repeal of Article 370 in August 2019 and pointed out that elections were due, indicating a path towards the restoration of full statehood once normalcy was reestablished.

The abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution was a historic but controversial move carried out by the Indian government in August 2019. Article 370 had granted special autonomous status to the region of Jammu and Kashmir, allowing it to have its own constitution, flag, and a significant degree of autonomy over internal matters, except defense, communications, and foreign affairs.

On August 5, 2019, the central government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah, took a bold step by revoking the special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370. The government also bifurcated the state into two separate union territories – Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh. While Jammu & Kashmir retained a legislative assembly, Ladakh became a union territory without a legislature.

The abrogation was implemented through a Presidential Order and subsequently passed by both houses of the Parliament of India. The decision was accompanied by a massive deployment of security forces in the region and a communication lockdown, including restrictions on internet and phone services, to prevent potential unrest.

The abrogation of Article 370 triggered a series of legal challenges, with petitions filed in the Supreme Court of India questioning the constitutional validity of the government's actions.

Supporters argued that it would pave the way for greater integration of Jammu and Kashmir into the Indian Union, boost economic development, and provide equal rights to all citizens. Critics, on the other hand, contended that it violated the spirit of federalism and undermined the special status granted to the region under Article 370.

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