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Supreme Court to deliver verdict in Article 370 case on 11 Dec

The Supreme Court will deliver its verdict on the batch of petitions challenging the central government’s decision to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution on 11 December. The 5-judge bench led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud heard the matter for 16 days and reserved its verdict on 5 September. The petitioners have termed the government’s decision as an attack on the federal structure of India and “fraud on the Constitution.”

The other judges on the bench include Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Sanjiv Khanna, BR Gavai, and Surya Kant.

The batch of over 20 petitions filed through senior lawyers including Kapil Sibal, Gopal Subramanium, Rajeev Dhavan, Dushyant Dave, and Gopal Sankaranarayanan submitted that the government misused its brute majority in Parliament to issue executive orders and divide the state of Jammu and Kashmir into the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

Earlier in 2020, the petitioners requested the court to transfer the case to a seven-judge Constitution Bench, but the Supreme Court decided against such a move and the five-judge bench kept the matter to itself. The hearing in the Article 370 case began on 2 August and the apex court reserved its verdict on 5 September.

On 5 August 2019 the Government of India under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, undertook a decisive measure by nullifying the distinct privileges accorded to Jammu and Kashmir through the abrogation of Article 370. Concurrently, the government partitioned the region into two distinct union territories – Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh. Notably, Jammu & Kashmir retained its legislative assembly, whereas Ladakh assumed the status of a union territory without an independent legislature.

Heated debate in Parliament

Incidentally, the Supreme Court’s date to deliver the verdict comes amid a heated debate in the Winter Session of Parliament over the historical policies on Kashmir. Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday slammed India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru over what he called “historic blunders” on Kashmir which led India to lose some part of Kashmir’s territory to Pakistan.

“Nehru himself wrote to Sheikh Abdullah admitting that when our army was winning, we should not have agreed to the ceasefire. He himself admitted they could have negotiated better (at the UN). PoK, which is ours anyway, would have been with us today if the right steps were taken. So much land of the country was lost. I say these were not mistakes. These were two historic blunders,” Amit Shah said in Parliament.

“I support the word that was used — Nehruvian blunder. Because of the blunder that was committed during the time of Nehru, Kashmir had to suffer. With responsibility, I want to say that the two big blunders that happened during the tenure of Jawaharlal Nehru, happened due to his decisions, because of which Kashmir had to suffer for years,” Shah said.

 

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Published: 07 Dec 2023, 10:48 PM IST

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