SC ready to hear petition against removal of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir
Many petitions were filed in the Supreme Court regarding 370 removed in 2019. The matter was referred to a five-judge constitution bench, but after February 2020, the matter has not been heard.
The Supreme Court is ready to hear the petition against the removal of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir. The hearing in this matter will be held after Dussehra. A lawyer associated with the case demanded an early hearing of the matter before the bench of CJI U U Lalit. He said that this is an important matter. The CJI said that he will definitely list the matter for hearing. It will be heard after the Dussehra holidays. In fact, many petitions were filed in the Supreme Court regarding 370 removed in 2019. The matter was referred to a five-judge constitution bench, but after February 2020, the matter has not been heard.
The hearing of Article 370 cases started before a 5-judge bench in December 2019, almost four months after the notifications issued by the Center in August 2019. A preliminary issue arose in the case as to whether the matter should be referred to a 7-judge bench as there was a difference of opinion between the two benches of five judges. In a judgment dated March 2, 2020, the Constitution Bench held that there was no need to refer the matter to a larger bench challenging the Presidential orders issued under Article 370. The petitions have not been heard since March 2, 2020. Then due to Corona, the virtual hearing started in the court.
Now the court has agreed to take the petitions out of the cold storage. The petitions are pending before the Constitution Bench of 5 judges. The petitions have challenged the abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35(A), which removed the special status from Jammu and Kashmir through a Presidential Order on August 5, 2019. Some of them also challenge the bifurcation of the state into two union territories, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. The division took effect on 31 October.
The main petitioners in the Article 370 petitions are National Conference MP Akbar Lone Hasnain Masoodi, J&K People's Conference chief Sajjad Lone, former military officer and bureaucrat, Shehla Rashid, lawyer ML Sharma, Shakir Shabbir ad Shoaib Qureshi. The Center justified the President's announcement on August 5 abrogating Article 370, saying the provision does not allow for proper integration of Jammu and Kashmir with India.