Article 370: Will Supreme Court have the last word?

Updated: Aug 11, 2019, 08:04 IST | Agencies |

National Conference (NC) moves the top court against Centre's decision to abrogate Article 370

Police personnel detain an activist of Jammu and Kashmir Youth Congress during a protest. Pic/AFP
Police personnel detain an activist of Jammu and Kashmir Youth Congress during a protest. Pic/AFP

New Delhi: The National Conference has moved the Supreme Court, challenging the revoking of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir in the Constitution and reorganisation of the state into two Union Territories, Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh. The Parliament on August 6 passed a resolution supporting the presidential order scrapping the provisions of the Article 370, thus making it redundant.

The National Conference, a regional party of the erstwhile state, has been at the forefront opposing the Centre's decision on J&K. The party has referred it unconstitutional and also threatened to fight it to the last bit legally. NC leaders, Mohammad Akbar Lone and Hasnain Mahsood, moved the apex court, representing the party. Omar Abdullah, National Conference leader, has said the presidential order would lead into dangerous consequences and apparently indicated at civil unrest that could potentially engulf the Valley.

Also Read: Kathua: Youths welcome abrogation of Article 370, hoist national flag outside college

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi

The petition seeks the top court's response to "whether the Union Government can unilaterally unravel this unique federal scheme, under cover of President's Rule, while undermining crucial elements of due process and the rule of law. This case therefore, goes to the heart of Indian federalism, democratic processes and the role of the Supreme Court as the guardian of the federal structure".

"The Constituent Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir drafted a Constitution for the state, specifically recognising that Jammu and Kashmir was an integral part of the Union. Crucially, the existence of the Constituent Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir is recognised in the scheme of Article 370," contended the petition claiming the Presidential Order and Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act unconstitutionally undermine the scheme of Article 370.

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar

'Guv had no legal authority'
A Kashmiri lawyer has also moved the Supreme Court challenging the controversial Presidential order. Advocate Shakir Shabir in his petition claims that the Presidential Order that amended Article 367, which resulted in the revocation of J&K's special status, could not have been amended without the concurrence of the state Assembly and was ultra vires—acting or done beyond one's legal power or authority—the Constitution.

"The action taken by the Union government is reckless, absent of any power or constitutional authority. The lives of millions of the inhabitants of the region of Jammu and Kashmir are jeopardised," said the petition. Shabir also claimed that the state Governor exercised his powers illegally, as he never consulted the Council of Ministers.

Also Read: Pakistani Twitteratis change profile pictures to stage protest

Centre rejects protest reports

The Centre on Saturday termed a media report as "completely fabricated and incorrect" that claimed there was a protest by 10,000 people in Srinagar on Friday when restrictions were eased. The Union Home Ministry said the news report "originally published in Reuters and which appeared in the Dawn claims there was a protest involving 10,000 people in Srinagar". "This is completely fabricated and incorrect. There have been a few stray protests in Srinagar/Baramulla, and none involved a crowd of more than 20 people," it said.

20
No. of protestors in Srinagar, according to the Centre

Governor reviews Eid preparations

Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik on Saturday reviewed preparations for the Eid celebrations and also healthcare facilities in hospitals in the city, even as National Security Advisor spent some time in Anantnag, meeting locals. "People should celebrate Eid without fear, and peacefully," he said.

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