Supreme Court: The five Judge Constitution Bench comprising of Chief Justice of India Dr. DY Chandrachud, Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Sanjiv Khanna, B.R. Gavai, and Surya Kant, JJ., reserved its judgment pertaining to the petitions filed against abrogation of Article 370 by the Central Government.
On 05-08-2019, the Central Government had abrogated the Articles 370 and 35-A of the Constitution of India and the Parliament had passed the Jammu and Kashmir (Reorganisation) Act, 2019, which provided for the reogranisation of the State of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the State into two Union Territories — Jammu and Kashmir with a legislature and Ladakh without one. On President’s declaration all the provisions of Article 370 ceased to be operative except for the provision that: “All provisions of this Constitution, as amended from time to time, without any modifications or exceptions, shall apply to the State of Jammu and Kashmir notwithstanding anything contrary contained in Article 152 or Article 308 or any other article of this Constitution or any other provision of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir or any law, document, judgement, ordinance, order, by-law, rule, regulation, notification, custom or usage having the force of law in the territory of India, or any other instrument, treaty or agreement as envisaged under Article 363 or otherwise.” Prior to the substitution, Article 370 granted a special status to the State of Jammu and Kashmir and provided for “Temporary provisions with respect to the State of Jammu and Kashmir” as an Instrument of Accession was signed with India, which enabled the State to join India, but only with a grant of special status.
Several writ petitions were filed before the Court against the abrogation of Article 370 and reorganisation of the State of Jammu and Kashmir. While hearing a batch of these petitions, the Court had previously refused to refer the petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Centre’s move to abrogate Article 370 to a larger bench. The Court heard the matter after a period of more than 2 years.
Earlier, the Constitution Bench had allowed applications of the two petitioners- Dr. Shah Faesal and Shehla Rashid who sought deletion of their names from the array of the parties and with the consent of all the counsels the cause title of the petitions was amended to ‘In Re: Article 370 of the Constitution’ for the convenience of reference.
The Bench reserved its verdict on the matter after concluding the sixteen-days long hearing.
[In Re: Article 370 of the Constitution]
*Deeksha Dabas, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief