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Article 370: Peoples Conference approaches SC for early hearing of pending petitions

Sajad Lone’s party says ‘the petitions ought to be heard and disposed of urgently as significant changes to the rights of the residents of the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir have already been brought about by the Centre’.

November 09, 2020 01:43 pm | Updated 08:26 pm IST - Srinagar

The Supreme Court of India. File

The Supreme Court of India. File

The Peoples Conference, headed by Sajad Lone, on Monday submitted a plea before the Supreme Court for an early hearing of the petitions pending before it contesting the measures taken by the Centre since August 5 last year in Jammu and Kashmir, including the abrogation of provisions of Article 370.

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“(I appeal to) Allow the present application on behalf of the petitioner for an early hearing of the present petition and the other petitions and fix an early date for hearing,” reads party spokesman Adnan Ashraf Mir’s plea.

He said the petitions “ought to be heard and disposed of urgently as significant changes to the rights of the residents of the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir have already been brought about by the Centre”.

“The petitioners have made out a very strong prima facie case and the issues raised are being considered by a Constitution Bench of the court.

“Notwithstanding the foregoing, pending the final hearing of these petitions challenging the abrogation of the special status of the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir and the abrogation of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir, and notwithstanding the prevailing pandemic conditions, sweeping changes are being brought about by the Centre that impact the rights of a large number of people, including dilution of the safeguards earlier available to the permanent residents of the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir,” it reads.

Mr. Mir argued that the changes undertaken would have an irreparable impact on the rights of the citizens of J&K, which included the creation of domicile rights and third-party rights in land ownership .

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“The very purpose of the present proceedings will be severely undermined if the present petitions are not heard and disposed of urgently. Suffice to say sufferance of the people continues as if under conquest without a full-fledged responsible government,” it added.

A slew of petitions, including those filed by the National Conference and Kashmir High Court Bar Association, challenging abrogations of provisions of Article 370 and other constitutional changes in J&K are pending before the Supreme Court.

Omar on PC’s move

NC vice president Omar Abdullah said the PC approached the court “as was decided in the recent meeting of the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration”. “We are seeking early hearings in this matter so that the petitions challenging 5th Aug 2019 move forward”, he added.

The PC and the NC are among seven other political parties that are part of the Gupkar alliance.

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