"Case can't be reduced to 'emotional majority interpretation' of constitution,"

Article 370 of the Indian Constitution accorded Jammu and Kashmir special status; it was repealed four years ago, and the petitions will be heard by a five-judge Constitution Bench presided over by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud.

Srinagar, India, July 3: The Indian Supreme Court will soon begin hearing petitions contesting the repeal of Article 370.

Article 370 of the Indian Constitution accorded Jammu and Kashmir special status; it was repealed four years ago, and the petitions will be heard by a five-judge Constitution Bench presided over by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud.


Justices S.K. Kaul, Sanjiv Khanna, B.R. Gavai, and Surya Kant will also be on the bench.

The court will issue orders to finish the necessary paperwork and set the hearing’s parameters. IANS news agency also said that the court will determine whether or not IAS official Shah Faesal may drop his plea.

Chief Justice Chandrachud had promised a ruling on listing the appeals back in February. These petitions are directed against the 2019 Presidential Order that abolished Jammu and Kashmir as a separate state and split it into two Union Territories. Nearly four years have passed with the petitions still pending before the Supreme Court.

A bigger bench of seven justices was requested by the petitioners, but in March 2020, a five-judge Constitution Bench led by then Chief Justice N.V. Ramana denied their plea. The court found no inconsistency between its prior decisions in the Prem Nath Kaul case and the Sampat Prakash case, both of which involved the interpretation of Article 370.

When Chief Justice Ramana and Justice Subhash Reddy resigned, they were replaced by Chief Justice Chandrachud and Justice Khanna on the bench.

On Monday, the Central government justified its decision to abrogate Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir, claiming that after the amendments, street violence, which was manufactured and managed by terrorists and separatist networks, has become a thing of the past.

Since 2019, when Article 370 was rescinded, the whole area has entered a “unprecedented era of peace, progress, and prosperity,” according to the Centre.

The Centre informed the Supreme Court that after three decades of unrest, Jammu and Kashmir had returned to normality after the abrogation of Article 370.

It also noted that there had been no strikes at K-12 or higher education institutions in the preceding three years.

Strikes and bandhs are now a thing of the past. As of 2022-23, there were 60,000,000 people actively engaged in sports. “These facts unequivocally demonstrate the beneficial effects of the 2019 constitutional amendments,” Centre said in its affidavit.

According to a new document submitted by the Centre to the Supreme Court, the number of incidences of organised stone pelting related to terrorism and separatist agenda, which peaked at 1,767 in 2018, has dropped to zero in 2023.

There were 52 organised Bandhs/Hartals in 2018, however there have been none so far in 2023.

Srinagar’s hosting of the G-20 Tourism Working Group meeting in May 2023 was a landmark event in the valley’s tourism history, and the country “proudly displayed” its resolute commitment to the world by showing that a “secessionist/terrorist region can be converted into a region where even international dignitaries can be invited and global events can be held,” as the Centre put it.

The affidavit of the Central government was produced in response to a group of petitions that questioned the validity of the government’s decision to abolish Article 370 and split the former state of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union territories.

The Central Government claims in its affidavit that the last four years have brought about significant improvements in all aspects of governance in the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, including development, public administration, and security, all of which have had a positive effect on the lives of all citizens regardless of their background.

The report said that preparations for the Kashmiri Pandits’ safe return to the valley are well underway, with most of the work scheduled to be finished within the next year.

The Indian government has declared that all Central laws, including the Constitution, now apply to Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, two Union regions that were formerly exempt from them due to Article 370’s repeal. The affidavit from the Centre states that before, individuals were denied access to the benefits of key national laws. Major initiatives were taken to improve grassroots democracy after the constitutional modifications were adopted democratically, stated Centre.

“For the first time in J&K’s history, a legitimately elected three-tier Panchayati Raj System is in place. Elections for the members of the District Development Councils were conducted in J&K in November-December 2020. “There are now over 34,000 elected members of rural and urban local bodies representing grassroots democracy,” it said. A new Central Sector Scheme for industrial development with an outlay of Rs. 28400 crores was notified in February 2021, according to the affidavit, and investment proposals totaling Rs. 78,000 crores have already been received online by the UT of Jammu and Kashmir.

Bandhs and street violence have “almost become a thing of the past” since the abrogation, and as a result, a record number of public works have been executed, all of which can be verified through GPS-connected time- and date-stamped videos and still photographs taken before and after execution. According to the affidavit, the government of Jammu and Kashmir has made it a high priority to implement a policy of zero tolerance against terrorist acts.

According to the affidavit, the desire of the people has been met with the addition of local languages as official languages after the repeal.



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