Indian Supreme Court on Tuesday directed a day-to-day hearing of a clutch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Article 370 abrogation and bifurcation of occupied Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories from August 2.
The order was passed by a five-judge Bench led by the Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud.
The Indian chief justice Justice Chandrachud said that the hearing will be on day-to-day basis except for Monday and Friday.
During the Tuesday’s hearing of the petitions challenging abrogation of Article 370, the CJI lashed out at the Modi government’s latest affidavit regarding the present status of Jammu and Kashmir saying “with its special status revoked would not have any bearing on the constitutional issues raised in the petitions and shall not be relied upon for that purpose”. The CJI observed, “This case concerns a pure constitutional challenge”.
The Indian govt had a day earlier submitted an affidavit in the court, saying that it had “brought unprecedented development, progress, security and stability to the region, which was often missing during the old Article 370 regime” and that it was a “testament to the fact that Parliamentary wisdom…” was “exercised prudently”.
The Supreme Court appointed two advocates Prasanna and Kanu Aggarwal as nodal counsels for the preparation of common convenience compilations of documents. Noting that certain compilations had been prepared earlier, it said additions to the compilation had to be made by July 27.
It said written submissions shall also be filed on or before July 27 and no further additions to the convenience compilation shall be permissible.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted that though the government has filed an additional affidavit setting out its views on post notification (of nullification of Article 370) development, it would have no bearing on the constitutional question and it would not be relied upon.
The court also renamed the case title to ‘In Re Article 370’.
It is worth mentioning here that New Delhi had abrogated Article 370 A on August 5, 2019 that granted special status of Jammu and Kashmir. The Modi regime’s unilateral decision was challenged by almost 20 petitioners including National Conference Lok Sabha MPs Mohammad Akbar Lone and Justice (Retd) Hasnain Masoodi, Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Conference, Jammu and Kashmir Bar Association, advocates ML Sharma, Soayib Qureshi, Muzzafar Iqbal Khan, Rifat Ara Butt and Shakir Shabir, Inder Salim, Satish Jacob, Hindal Haidar Tyabji, Radha Kumar, retired Air Vice Marshal Kapil Kak, retired Major General Ashok Kumar Mehta, Amitabha Pande, Gopal Pillai, Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami and People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL).
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