J&K: Supreme Court declines urgent hearing of petition

Can the U.N. stop Parliament from passing amendments, Justice N.V. Ramana asks petitioner

The Supreme Court on Thursday declined an urgent hearing of a petition challenging the revocation of the special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

During a brief hearing, advocate M.L. Sharma, who filed the petition, contended that Pakistan may take the matter to the United Nations. 

However, a Bench headed by Justice N.V. Ramana asked the petitioner whether the U.N. can stop Parliament from passing amendments.

Mr. Sharma, in his petition, challenged the August 5 notification of the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order of 2019, which amends Article 370 of the Constitution.

Plea on curfew and curbs

The court also declined an urgent hearing of a plea of Tehseen Poonawala seeking the withdrawal of curfew/restrictions and all other regressive measures, including blocking of telephone lines, Internet and news channels in Jammu and Kashmir.

A Bench headed by Justice Ramana said Mr. Poonawala’s plea would be put up before a Bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi for appropriate listing.

Mr. Sharma, in his petition, referred to how the political leaders of Jammu and Kashmir were detained/arrested before the issuance of the August 5 notification. There was no meaningful legislative or representative debate, he submitted.

By tweaking the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order of May 14, 1954, the notification took away the special rights and privileges enjoyed by the residents of Kashmir. It had effectively allowed the entire provisions of the Constitution, with all its amendments, exceptions and modifications, to apply to the area of Jammu and Kashmir, the petitioner contended. The notification declared that “all the provisions of the Constitution, as amended from time to time, shall apply in relation to the State of Jammu and Kashmir”.

The notification has been issued under Article 370 of the Constitution. In short, the government employed Article 370, which had once protected the 1954 Order giving special rights to the people of J&K, to scrap the more than 60-year-old Order. The government justified the notification by saying that it closes the “chasm” between residents of J&K and citizens of other parts of the country.

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 9:05:20 PM |

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